The HCI Skills Gateway has funded a major expansion of SCDI’s Climate Smarter project across Fife, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s (SCDI) ‘Climate Smarter’ project, which encourages pupils to think creatively about solutions to the climate emergency through STEM subjects, will be available in 90 more schools across Edinburgh and the South East this year, following investment of £250,000 over three years from HCI Skills Gateway.
The investment comes after research commissioned in early 2022 by HCI Skills Gateway (part of the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal and based at Edinburgh Napier University) highlighted that lack of training in green skills is the number one barrier to achieving net zero across the construction sector. As a result, the HCI Skills Gateway committed to inspiring more young people into sustainable construction careers.
Kirsty Connell Skinner, Programme Manager at HCI Skills Gateway, said: “Through our work across the sector we know the skills gap in sustainable construction and design, especially timber building, is a major issue. The Scottish construction industry is expected to need 22,500 new roles by 2028. Firms can see the new direction of travel and the skills needed but unable to recruit in the current market.
“This significant expansion of the Climate Smarter programme is an important step to get young people into STEM and provide longer term growth to the sector through accessible routes for a diverse cross section of candidates.”
Delivered by the Young Engineers and Science Clubs team at SCDI, the Climate Smarter project highlights the breadth of options and accessible opportunities available to young people by working with industry partners including Shell UK Ltd, Crown Estate Scotland, Confor, Scottish Forestry Trust and many more. It also provides STEM resources kits to schools on topics such as future energy sources, sustainable building materials, programming and coding.
The year-long project culminates in a final design challenge where pupils are tasked with designing and building models of future schools then showcased at two exciting celebration events.
With sector growth through better accessibility and diversity at the centre of the partnership, the programme will also proactively target typically under-represented groups within STEM, including young women, black and minority ethnic pupils, those from rural communities and areas of high deprivation, to increase their participation.
Find out more at: https://www.scdi.org.uk/yesc/
Sara Thiam, CEO at SCDI, said: “Scotland is facing a STEM skills gap. Young Engineers and Science Clubs have been inspiring young people in Scotland towards STEM careers for over 30 years. This new partnership with HCI allows us to reach even more schools in Scotland and inspire them to new careers in sectors at the forefront of the transition to a net zero economy”