Recognising the need to inspire the next generation of engineers and help combat the skills shortage, Select, a subsidiary of Laing O’Rourke, is delighted to join Mabey Hire’s STEM Education Programme as a Programme Partner.

First launched in 2018, Mabey Hire’s STEM Education Programme was developed as a means of proactively tackling the engineering skills shortage. Targeted at school children aged 10-13 and designed with fun at its core, the programme aims to change perceptions around and raise awareness of the engineering sector, through the use of LEGO® Education materials.

Select’s 10-strong team of STEM Ambassadors will be delivering the STEM Education Programme in local schools from April. Starting initially with single-topic sessions, focusing on core engineering principles such as levers, pulleys, pneumatics and structures, Select plans to progress to delivering the full 16-week programme in the new school year.

Alex Warrington, Select Business Unit Leader, said: “At Select, we are committed to fostering innovation and investing in the future and we recognise the critical importance of supporting STEM education initiatives. By partnering on the Mabey Hire STEM programme, we aspire to nurture the development of the next generation to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, collaborating with emerging talents through an immersive initiative.

“Throughout the onboarding process, the Mabey Hire team has offered continuous support and guidance and we commend the team for developing such a pioneering programme to shape the future of the construction industry.”

Andrew Gascoine, Digital Engineering Manager at Mabey Hire, added: “It’s been great to see the development and evolution of the STEM Education Programme since we first launched it in 2018. It really is growing from strength to strength, and a key part of this is having the support of the wider industry and partners, such as Select.

“The skills shortage is a very real problem facing the engineering industry and it’s important that we all do our bit to engage with and support the younger generation. We’re absolutely thrilled to have Select on board as a Programme Partner and we look forward to working with them over the coming months and years on helping to push the message of our programme out to even more schools and students.”

The programme is predominantly delivered as a 16-week course in after-school clubs but has also been successfully adapted for other delivery options. With support from Mabey Hire’s own STEM Ambassadors and Programme Partners, the focus is on encouraging students to think like an engineer, allowing them to learn and explore core engineering principles in a fun and hands-on way. Recognising the technological advances of the industry, the programme also incorporates digital technology, with students entering a LEGO® VR World through virtual reality headsets.

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