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College pledges to boost science and technology participation
BDC staff with Education Minister Liz Truss MP at the Your Life launch

College pledges to boost science and technology participation

9 May 2014

Barking & Dagenham College pledged its commitment to a campaign, launched at the Science Museum this week by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon. George Osborne MP, to boost participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers.

Your Life logoThe ‘Your Life’ campaign brings together 170 business, educators, industry representatives and government organisations who have all pledged to drive changes that show how STEM subjects can lead to exciting, successful careers.  The campaign comes as the need for home-grown skills in the technology and engineering industries increases if the UK is to be able to thrive in the 21st century global economy.  

‘Your Life’ also aims to encourage more young women into STEM subjects, as, for example, research shows fewer than 1 in 10 UK engineering professionals are female.  

Home to London’s only regional Gazelle STEM Centre, which features investigation labs and a 3D cinema, means that Barking & Dagenham College is perfectly placed to help the Government’s campaign reach its objectives. The College’s ‘Your Life’ commitment includes a range of initiatives including launching a programme of STEM taster events for east London schools, all designed to increase take-up in technology and engineering courses by 20 per cent within the next three years.
Science and engineering have become increasingly important across all sectors of the UK economy, with over 5.8 million people (20% of the UK’s workforce) employed in science-based roles, which is expected to rise to 7.1 million by 2030, while engineering enterprises employ over 5.4 million people and manufacturing accounts for more than 50% of the UK’s exports, according to research statistics from Your Life.  
Cathy Walsh, Principal and CEO at Barking & Dagenham College, said 
“The College was approached to join this campaign and we are delighted to be involved. 21st century careers will increasingly depend on technology and science skills, and as educators we must create opportunities for young people, especially young women, to recognise that a STEM career could be a real and rewarding option for them.”  
Education Minister Elizabeth Truss added: 
“Too many teenagers, especially girls, don’t realise that maths and physics get you everywhere. They have the highest earnings and can open doors to careers in business, journalism, technology, engineering - in fact anything you can probably think of.”

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