Edinburgh College launches STEM Manifesto

Edinburgh College was joined today by Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn and 100 local school pupils to launch its new STEM Manifesto, which sets out how the college will support the growth of the country’s increasingly technology-based industries.

Edinburgh College’s STEM Manifesto outlines how the college will deliver STEM-related education to ensure that students are prepared for the modern workplace, giving them better progression opportunities and ensuring that employers get the right skills they need to grow their business. It shows how the college will help fill the skills gaps in Scotland’s growth sectors, including STEM and digital areas, supporting the growth of the regional and national economy.

Guests at the launch included 100 S1 and S2 pupils from local schools, who got to interact with a range of STEM activities and experiments from across the whole college curriculum, from Engineering and Computing to Hair and Beauty. These included how to programme a robot car, using virtual reality for welding training and the science behind bath bombs. The pupils also learned about STEM-related career options.

Guest speakers included Morna Simpson, the founder of Girl Geek Scotland, and Professor Sa’ad Medhat from the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE). IKE’s partner organisation The STEM Foundation awarded Edinburgh College STEM-Assured Status last year, honouring its commitment to education in these areas.

Mr Hepburn said: “We want everyone in Scotland to be supported to develop their STEM capability and skills from their earliest years, through school, college and university. Encouraging uptake of careers in this growing sector is key to both Scotland’s society and our economic prosperity and is a central aim of our ambitious STEM strategy for education and training that will be launched tomorrow (Thurs, Oct 26).

“The transition from education to work is an important phase in the life of a young person. Therefore it is vital that our young people are given the STEM skills they require in today’s rapidly changing labour market, which is why I very much welcome the action Edinburgh College is taking to ensure that its students are well equipped for the world of work.”

Mike Jeffrey, Assistant Principal at Edinburgh College, said: “STEM is a national priority, with skills shortages that need to be met to ensure our industries have a workforce ready for the rapid changes being brought about by new technologies. Our STEM Manifesto sets out how we do this. Emerging technologies are changing all industries – not only those that are traditionally associated with STEM – so it’s vital we equip students on all courses with what they need. Digital skills, for example, are now essential to all kinds of businesses.”

“STEM is at the heart of the college and we are committed to delivering a learning experience for our students that will give them the best opportunities to succeed.”