A new Science Skills Academy (SSA) is being designed to help ensure there are sufficient numbers of young people with the STEM/D skills needed for future economic growth in the region.
An estimated 5,000 new high-quality jobs in renewable energy and a further 1,000 jobs in biosciences are anticipated in the next five to eight years. Developing a suitably skilled workforce is essential to ensure employers of these jobs locate in the Highlands and Islands region.
Plans for the learning centres are being modelled on the Norwegian Newton rooms, with a similar mix of funding from central and local government and private enterprise. They will provide resource support for practical STEM/D activity in schools and provide an accessible base for extracurricular projects.
Former Gairloch High School teacher, Andrew Johnston, has been appointed project director at the Science Skills Academy. He said: “We want to work with partners who are already engaged in the field to provide a coherent STEM/D learning experience throughout a young person’s education. This in turn will provide opportunities for young people to pursue careers in some of the emerging and future technological developments in the region.”