THE University of Bradford has been awarded funding to help end the deficit of STEM skills in the economy.

The £63,000 will help the university deliver a programme to support teachers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and maths) and encourage more students to take on the subjects.

The university will also host a STEM festival next month to encourage more young people to pick science careers.

The funding came from the Go Higher West Yorkshire consortia part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme to roll out the ‘Ignite’ project. It will include a programme for teachers to increase knowledge of STEM curricula, exams, research and to close the graduate skills gap.

There is a national shortage of STEM graduates and a deficit of STEM skills within the economy. Recent research finds that this shortage is primary in practical skills which are particularly important in the workplace currently and especially in future jobs.

Lead on the project, Janet Smith-Harrison, STEM Programme Manager at the university, said: “We already carry out some fantastic work with schools across the region to encourage more pupils into STEM subjects but with this funding we hope to take it a step further and help equip teachers with the skills and knowledge to lead the way in STEM subjects.

“The funding will enable us to develop partnerships between teachers, academics and employers sharing STEM research, curriculum and skills knowledge. We will also be running networking events and masterclasses to enable teachers to incorporate cutting-edge research into their teaching.

“Through this project not only do we aim to increase the number of pupils studying STEM subjects at Higher Education but we want them to enjoy and be confident in their choices.”

The Ignite project will run until December 2018 and supports the University’s mission of ‘Making Knowledge Work’.

The university’s Love STEM Festival will take place on Saturday May 26. The event is organised by Go Higher West Yorkshire and is open to 13-19 year olds who are interested in finding out more about STEM subjects and future job prospects.

The event is free to attend and will run 11am- 3pm. There will be opportunities to meet people who work in STEM industries and those who teach STEM subjects, and will feature an appearance by ‘Science bloke’ Marty Jopson from The One Show.