STEM skills fund opens for round two applications

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 31 Jul 2018

Offshore wind giant Ørsted has launched the second round of applications for the East Coast Skills Fund.

A total of £55,000 will be available again through an open application process to experienced organisations that can develop and deliver Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related training or education courses, a one-off event, or a programme of targeted events.

The full £55,000 may be awarded to one organisation, or split between a number of groups that apply. The minimum grant organisations can apply for is £10,000, and the closing date for applications is September 12.

A further £20,000 will again be targeted at colleges within the fund’s coastal area of benefit, and will be used to help finance local students who are unable to access traditional funding streams for support.

Natasha Nanuck, Ørsted’s senior stakeholder advisor, said “As a predominately engineering-based company, we recognise the importance of developing STEM skills, especially in the areas where we will be operating for a number of years.

“The East Coast Skills Fund will commit £75,000 each year for 20 years to help to improve local skills and employment opportunities. Following an extremely positive and high level of interest to the first round of the Skills Fund last year, we are delighted to announce the opportunity is now open again. “

The Skills Fund forms part of the company’s £465,000 East Coast Community Fund 20 year annual commitment and is part of the community engagement programme for Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One and Race Bank offshore wind farms, which are located off the Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Norfolk coast. 

Both wind farms combined will be capable of providing enough energy for over one and a half million homes and both are served by dedicated maintenance teams based at Grimsby's emerging East Coast Hub. 

As well as contributing £465,000 a year to the East Coast Community Fund, Ørsted has also partnered with Teach First to transform the skills landscape in the North. As part of this Ørsted support Teach First on a number of challenging targets to improve the teacher attraction and retention, and pupil progression in Grimsby, Hull and Merseyside.

The Fund is being administered by the independent grant-making charity GrantScape. For further information about the Fundand to find out how to apply, please visit their website or call 01908 247634.

In the first round of funding, Grimsby Institute received £41,675 for an annual programme of events designed to excite, inform and spark curiosity to over 2,000 students in junior, secondary, higher education across the coastal zones of North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and East Lincolnshire. Part of this funding went towards a careers event held last month, including a STEM Village specifically to inspire young people into STEM careers.

The second award of £13,325 went to Alderman Peel High School in Norfolk to develop a sustainable STEM development and outreach project over a two-year period where STEM teachers will work with employers to embed real life project activities into the National Curriculum.

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