The STEM Coordination Hub will initially be piloted in parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, counties that are already a hub for engineering and technology supporting the energy sector. It aims to make the most of what is already there, identify and plug the gaps and find new ways to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

An increasingly fragmented STEM education landscape is contributing to a crisis in the talent pipeline, affecting not just offshore wind but almost all sectors. This industry-funded programme brings together employers with education and academia to transform the STEM provision in Norfolk and Suffolk, directly impacting the future workforce in the East of England,

...Nautilus Associates explained.

Over half of the UK’s offshore wind industry is located off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, with a development pipeline that could see more than 15GW developed over the next decade, or half of the industry’s vision to deliver 30GW by 2030 up from 7.5GW today.

The offshore sector supports thousands of high-skilled jobs across the supply chain, generating billions in revenue, but an increased supply of STEM skills is crucial in other key sectors in the region such as nuclear, civil engineering, agri-tech, finance, life sciences, and digital creative industries.

The project takes a game-changing approach to the problem by integrating industry itself into the solution. Businesses will have the opportunity to directly influence the conversation driving STEM delivery in education.

The project was originally developed by Nautilus Associates whilst investigating opportunities to encourage business growth in North Norfolk, a piece of work that highlighted the barriers and challenges industry faces and acted as a catalyst to develop a solution.

The Hub will be hosted by The Bridge Trust, a Great Yarmouth-based charity that provides support to young people and community development.

The UK government’s recently announced sector deal will ensure 30% of electricity comes from offshore wind by 2030. It also aims to increase the number of highly-skilled jobs to 27,000, up from 7,200 today.

The deal explicitly sets out steps to achieve at least 33% of women in the total offshore wind workforce by 2030, with the ambition of reaching 40%. As International Women’s’ Day highlighted, women currently represent just 16% of this workforce.

The STEM Coordination Hub has ambitions to improve parity between the sexes, helping young people to access STEM and improve the entry rate of women into the workforce.

The STEM Coordination Hub will launch formally in May this year.