£5.7 million of EU funding announced to push Welsh STEM initiatives

The Welsh Government has secured £5.7 million of EU funding to encourage young people to take science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at GCSE Level.

Speaking last week, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announced that the money will be invested into the £8.7 million Trio Sci Cymru project to improve STEM education in Wales.

It’s aimed at increasing take-up and grades in STEM subjects among young people living in West and North Wales, as well as the South Wales Valleys.

Over the coming years, the project will encourage more than 5,600 people aged 11 to 19 from 30 schools to study STEM courses –  especially biology, chemistry and physics – to create a skilled workforce and a prosperous economy.

To gain interest and participation in STEM learning, it will conduct an array of innovative outreach activities outside the formal education system. These include interactive hands-on experiments, roadshows and awareness about STEM-related careers.

Trio Sci Cymru is led by the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy and works closely with the Institute of Physics and Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor universities. The initiative is backed by  £5.7 million of EU funding and £2.5m from the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy.

Announcing the new funding, the Finance Secretary said the project will help further the country’s technological capabilities and grow the economy.

“Technology is moving at an increasing pace and for Wales to capitalise on this change we need a skilled workforce. This EU investment will help stimulate interest in these core subjects, encouraging take up and in turn growing the Welsh economy,” he commented.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan added: “We know STEM subjects are essential to the technological, social and economic future of Wales.

“This investment will encourage our young people to pursue these subjects at GCSE level, helping them to build careers that are rewarding, fulfilling and well paid.”