Building the future STEM workforce
Esh Group won a 2018 STEM Inspiration Award for an Inspirational STEM Engagement Project, showcasing their interactive workshops and vibrant construction-themed resource kit. Clare Davison, their Social Value Coordinator, reflects on the impact these kits have had.
Construction is often wrongly perceived as a male-dominated and physical working environment. By addressing these stereotypes at a young age, the hope is to introduce more students to exciting STEM-related jobs. This helps to broaden the future workforce for construction and to bridge the current skills gap.
My team at Esh Group are looking at ways to bring the construction site into a classroom setting, engaging Early Years and key stage 1 students in an interactive workshop, with our construction-themed resource kit.
Our Get into STEM kits contain fun and educational resources which are commonly used in the construction industry. We use the resources to encourage learning through job role play which includes designing and planning, building and measuring.
The kits have been designed to align with the national curriculum for Early Years Foundation Studies and key stage 1, targeting the seven Learning and Development Outcomes while also offering a soft introduction to our industry.
"Being part of a fantastic network with STEM Learning, we hope that we are helping to create the construction workforce of the future."
Esh Group’s Social Value team, who are all trained STEM Ambassadors, deliver a 40-minute interactive workshop to showcase activities within the kit. The kit is then loaned to schools for a two-week period - free of charge, allowing the school to use the kit to support the curriculum and for free play. The success of the programme has led to collaborations with other sectors to develop both water and police-themed STEM kits.
The programme has now been running for four academic years and since starting out on our STEM journey, we have worked with over 10,000 Early Years Foundation Studies and key stage 1 students - something we are all very proud of!
Being part of the STEM Learning network provides a great platform for us to talk about the work we have been delivering and more importantly helps us to forge new links with primary schools and businesses across the regions we work.
An award-winning team
Winning the Inspirational STEM Engagement Project at the STEM Inspiration Awards was an extremely proud moment for the whole team. Each week we go out and meet young people with the aim of inspiring them not only about STEM subjects but how they fit into our construction industry and the world of work. We were honoured to have come up against some of the country’s large and inspiring organisations and it was a fantastic opportunity to learn what others are doing to bridge the gap and bring STEM subjects to the forefront for young people.
Esh Group is passionate about developing the workforce of the future and recognises the importance of inspiring the next generation by introducing them to STEM careers at an early age. Being part of a fantastic network with STEM Learning, we hope that we are helping to create the construction workforce of the future.
Could you be a STEM Inspiration Award winner?
Applications for the 2019 STEM Inspiration Awards are currently open and will close on 10 September 2019.