Updated: Oct 27
Scottish school pupils have today visited an Ayrshire estate with royal links to celebrate a new partnership between leading educational charity Engineering Development Trust (EDT) and The Prince’s Foundation that aims to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals by the application of Industrial Cadet accreditation to STEM engagement courses run at Dumfries House.
A class of Primary 7 pupils from Mauchline Primary School descended upon The Morphy Richards Engineering Education Centre at Dumfries House alongside a host of industrialists, educationalists and community builders to hear about the new partnership and participate in a variety of STEM linked challenges.
The Industrial Cadet initiative has been developed by EDT with support from industry to provide a benchmark accreditation. Industrial Cadet accreditation maps work experience activities against a skills and competency framework. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is Patron of Industrial Cadets.
During the launch event, the pupils met with industry professionals and took part in a variety of aerospace-themed activities, all of which will be accredited to Industrial Cadet Challenger Level as a result of the new partnership.
Such education events at Dumfries House form a key element of the vision of HRH The Prince of Wales, who used £20million of his charitable foundation’s money in 2007 to secure the future of the house and estate and use it to help people engage in learning experiences that promote confidence and personal development as well as offer training in real-life skills to open up future employment opportunities.
Helen Anderson, Director Scotland for EDT said: “Over recent years, EDT and The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House have developed a strong relationship, engaging local young people in STEM activities and working with local businesses to promote careers and further study in STEM subjects.
“We now want to formalise our strong alliance, working together to support young people to achieve their full potential, helping industry build a talent pipeline with the skills needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to promote the varied careers, skills and opportunities STEM subjects can open up.’
Karen Alexander, STEM education coordinator for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, said: “It was a pleasure to host pupils from Mauchline Primary School and industry professionals to celebrate the launch of our new Industrial Cadets programme.
“The programme aims to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals by providing them with the opportunity to take part in practical STEM workshops and to develop their creative and interpersonal skills which are so desirable in today’s world of work. We are very grateful to EDT for their support and look forward to offering Industrial Cadets accredited programmes to school pupils from across the UK during workshops and school residential trips in the near future.”
Local industrialist Simon Foster, engineering director at Spirit Aerosystems and chair of Ayrshire Engineering Alliance welcomed the new partnership at the event on behalf of the many local companies who will support the partnership including the likes of Collins Aerospace, Leonardo and Scottish Power.
Helen Anderson of EDT concluded: “STEM education is of increasing importance as we are in the early stages of an avalanche of technological development which will require immense skills flexibility. As jobs are transformed by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing and 3D printing, not only will those working with these technologies need up-to-date STEM knowledge but they will also require skills in communication, team working, presentation and project management, all of which are benchmarked and learned as part of Industrial Cadet accredited programmes.
“In this way, the partnership can be seen to be future-proofing skills in the talent pipeline to the benefit of both the students and local industry."