A programme designed to support up-and-coming product designers, scientists and engineers in the Thames Gateway has been launched by the Essex-based Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham.
The £1.5m initiative, entitled Gateway to Skills, brings together the London Development Agency, the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering, and local secondary schools.
Its aim is to boost the supply of labour in the engineering, technology and manufacturing sectors and ‘help young people make the most out of the opportunities from the Thames Gateway developments’.
Gateway to Skills will aim to deliver a range of activities to challenge perceptions, and increase opportunities into further and higher education and employment for 14 to 19 year olds.
Bill Williams, chief executive of CEME, says, ‘We really do have the capability to work closely with local companies to make sure that we are delivering the right set of skills for the manufacturing and technology industries of the future.
‘Employment within the Thames Gateway is set to grow by 16 per cent by 2026, so we need to ensure that we are working with both ends of the skills chain to ensure that local companies and individuals benefit from the exciting opportunities coming to the area,’ he adds.
Russell Pinch, managing director of product and interior design group Pinch says,
‘The project is not just aimed at the student. According to the STEM Report the quality and level of teaching is also very important and many of London’s schools, colleges and universities are finding it hard to keep the science technology, engineering and maths teaching and support staff they need.’