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STEMtastic Day at Virgin Money

We held a day of fun and interactive workshops for over 200 young people focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, collectively known as STEM. This was the first event of its kind, which saw us partner with NE1 Can, RTC’s North East STEM Ambassadors Hub and 16 employers to provide young people with an inspiring day of hands-on activities covering a breadth of STEM industries.

Aimee Rowan from Kenton school said:

I liked the coding group, we made a website about housing in 20 minutes. I’m thinking about doing Computer Science for GCSE.

The UK is facing a shortage of skills for these industries, mainly down to a shortage of applicants with the required abilities and experience. According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, 43% of STEM vacancies are hard to fill. The root of this growing skills gap is education, from school through to university and workplace training. STEM outreach activities like our STEMtastic Day aim to inspire people to study relevant subjects and pursue roles in these industries.

Emma Coley, Maths teacher at Kenton School:

It is fantastic to see students discussing the importance of STEM subjects and discovering the variety of career paths involving STEM.’ One of her class added ‘it’s great as it inspires children at our age.

At Virgin Money we employ people who are skilled in Mathematics and Technology, from crunching numbers, to analysing data to better understand our customers and prevent fraud, there’s a lot of Mathematics in finance. Knowledge in Technology not only enables each one of the millions of interactions with our customers each year, it is at the forefront of our ambition to be a Britain’s best loved bank.

The STEMtastic event like the one we held allows companies to show the huge breadth of opportunities in STEM industries and we believe that giving young people these employer encounters at this formative stage in their education will help to raise career aspirations for the future, for children from every background.

For further support material check out our article Supporting Parents and Children in the STEM world.

If you want to see what went on at our STEMtatsic Day, check out the NE1 can Facebook page.