Inspirational teaching and a joined-up approach between industry and education can open more young people’s eyes to the wealth of career opportunities available to them in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
In addition to investing in a programme to bring high calibre maths and physics academics into state to help address the critical shortage of teachers, Shell is working with schools and colleges to support STEM education and introduce pupils to the possibility of a career in the energy industry.
Girls in Energy: Inspired to choose STEM
An example of this is in North East Scotland. Six years ago Shell established ‘Girls in Energy’, a programme set up to increase the number of young women considering a career in STEM.
John Raine, Shell’s Upstream Social Investment Adviser, says: “We went to schools and our conversations with young women highlighted a number of preconceptions about energy being all about getting your hands dirty on oil rigs, in the middle of the North Sea".
Since then, 600 girls aged 14-16 have passed through the year-long course, which delivers weekly lessons, workshops and field visits. The first few girls who were inspired to choose a STEM career are now in final study before employment. They include 19-year-old Abbey Thomson, who recently graduated from the Shell Engineering Scheme and is currently working at the Shell St Fergus Gas Plant in the North East of Scotland as a trainee instrument technician.