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Helping meet the needs of Berkshire’s employers, WOOP* is a major campaign running across Berkshire, running from January 2017 through to July 2018. It is designed to make sure that talented people across the community are aware of the huge career opportunities there are among the county’s 42,000 employers for people who have STEM (science, technology, engineering or maths) qualifications. It will also help education and training providers promote and develop effective paths to STEM careers.

The programme, which has secured more than £400,000 from the Skills Funding Agency, is run by Adviza in cooperation with Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Network and Berkshire’s colleges and enterprise business partners.

One in ten jobs in Berkshire are in digital technology. That’s three times higher than the national average, and finding people to fill those vacancies is tough. The same goes for jobs in science and engineering, particularly jobs related to health, energy and the environment.

WOOP involves staging a series of events across the county to engage up to 10,000 people from all walks of life, including school leavers, graduates, women returning to work and people in work but under-utilised or who have STEM degrees but have never pursued a STEM career.

The programme also connects a network of STEM champions with schools, colleges and the local community, to help inspire and inform people about the Berkshire world of work.  It also offers work placements for those with a level 3 qualification or above in  STEM subjects.

The programme is supported by Warwick University’s Institute of Employment Research. Principle Research Fellow, Deirdre Hughes, and a team of highly experienced researchers are developing a Berkshire strategy to guide efforts.

Programme Manager, Carly Grimster hopes that the programme will help to challenge the narrow perception that many people have about careers in STEM subjects. Berkshire employers in technical, science or engineering fields also need people with a strong commercial mindset: who understand cost management, risk analysis or data analysis. They need people who can negotiate and who can quickly adopt new technologies.

For more information about the programme call Carly at Adviza on 0118 402 7050 or email: carlygrimster@adviza.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Formerly known as Gearing up for STEM

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