The Wokingham Paper

Pharmaceutical company’s STEM scheme to benefit Year Nine pupils

STEM Boehringer Ingelheim
SECONDARY schools across the borough are benefitting from a new partnership from Boehringer Ingelheim and STEM Learning, the UK's largest provider of education and careers support in STEM

SECONDARY schools across the borough are benefitting from a new partnership from a local pharmaceutical company.

Boehringer Ingelheim has teamed up with STEM Learning, the UK’s largest provider of education and careers support in STEM, with the aim of helping nurture talent and securing greater levels of participation in STEM subjects into further education.

The bespoke programme features nine initiatives aimed at supporting Year Nine students.

Boehringer Ingelheim says that this is a pivotal stage for students’ academic and career progression.

So to help, it is launching a careers lab to support pupils to develop key skills in the STEM sector, creating opportunities to connect and share their aspirations with mentors within the industry, and extra-curricular clubs including interactive activities and competitions.

Professional development workshops and, when social distancing permits, an immersive industry experience day will be organised for teachers, and parents will be offered the opportunity to attend tailor-made sessions to help them understand the importance of STEM subjects and build their children’s confidence in this area.

Research suggests that nearly 30% of jobs in Berkshire are in the STEM sector and, through these activities, Boehringer Ingelheim says it aims to nurture students’ educational development and support the local talent pool.

Uday Bose, Country Managing Director for UK and Ireland at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “As a family-owned company, we always have one eye on the next generation.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with STEM Learning to support young people, teachers and schools in championing STEM education.

“Sustainability is one of our core values as a business, and we are planning for the long term by supporting initiatives that will inspire more students to pursue STEM subjects into further education to deliver against unmet needs in our sector and beyond.”

They added: “In the UK, and closer to home in Berkshire, there is a diverse range of amazing opportunities and careers available in the STEM sector for young people.

“We believe it is crucial that schools and employers work together to explore these possibilities and motivate students, so we can support their development and help them make informed decisions about their future.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this initiative helped to develop the next Stephen Hawking or Rosalind Franklin.”

The news has been welcomed by Dr Ajay Sharman, the regional network lead South East at STEM Learning UK. They said that the aim was create a world-leading STEM education system for all young people across the UK.

“We know that increasing time pressures, a lack of resources and teachers’ own confidence can present barriers to engaging students in STEM, preventing them from realising their true potential,” they continued.

“The partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim will enable us to provide teachers with a range of valuable resources and tools to draw upon in their teaching, which will make a real difference to both students’ and teachers’ experiences of STEM education.”

And Alison Webster, Chief Executive at Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Compared to the rest of the UK, Berkshire has a higher than average concentration of companies in life sciences and healthcare. Our area also has a younger population and labour market compared to the UK average, and there are greater volumes of young people entering the job market over the next five years.

“With the STEM sector making a significant contribution to our local economy we can see that there is a perfect opportunity presented for our young people and we fully support Boehringer Ingelheim and STEM Learning’s partnership to enrich student’s learning in this area.”

The nine schools that will benefit from the scheme are: The Bulmershe School, Garth Hill College, Bohunt School, Easthampstead Park Community School, St Crispin’s School,  The Holt School, The Emmbrook School, The Forest School and The Green Room School in Windsor.

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