Employers help to shape the College's STEM strategy for growth

STEM employer forum

Local employers attended a forum last week to help shape how Chesterfield College will provide STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) skills in the future.

Employers from construction, engineering, health and public sector joined forces for a passionate discussion about where the skills gaps are, how we can address them and how we can promote STEM careers.  

Richard Deane, Assistant Principal for Strategic Growth and Innovation at Chesterfield College said:

“Today’s discussions have given us a fantastic insight into the challenges facing local employers. Their views are vital to help us design the courses we offer and ensure that students leave us work-ready.  Nationally, employers are reporting  STEM skills shortages but we know that there is growth in these sectors. It is really important to make the skills we are equipping people with meet the demand so we can help businesses grow and ensure our students have the competitive edge in the job market.”

A common theme that many organisations were keen to work together on was to ensure that STEM careers were promoted at an early age and that opportunities for young people to experience real working environments were provided.  

Many employers felt that apprenticeships were still seen by some as a second class route to qualifications and they were keen to tackle these misconceptions by highlighting some of the successes that they had experienced.

The importance of a good standard of English and maths, as well as having skills like team working and communication were also highlighted as being vital for employability.

The Local Enterprise Partnership D2N2 and the Careers Enterprise Company have recently announced the investment of £300,000 to launch a new employability initiative highlighting STEM career options in schools working with volunteers from the business community.  To find out more visit http://www.d2n2lep.org/News/300000-employability-initiative-needs-business-volunteer-champions

To find out more about the courses we offer in STEM subjects visit  https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/courses