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Headstart and Inspire courses underpin rises in Women going into STEM careers

Julie Feest, CEO of EDT
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EDT, the independent UK education charity that encourages young people into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers, is supporting the current improvements in the numbers of women going into STEM by providing increases in available places on programmes which encourage young women to understand what STEM careers involve.

CEO of EDT, Julie Feest says,

“The trends are very positive. According to figures from WISE more women are working in core STEM careers than ever before and, in particular, 61,430 more women work in these careers in 2017 than in 2016. These improvements now mean that women now make up 24% of those working in core STEM industries in the UK.

“We are excited to be able to underpin this trend by an increased number of places for young women on our tailored Headstart and Inspire courses across the country.”

Both the Headstart and Inspire courses enable young people to obtain insights into STEM courses at University by undertaking STEM related project work for a few days in a university environment. Headstart is aimed at 16/17-year olds in Year 12/S5, while Inspire encourages those aged 15/16 in Year 11/S4. Inspire courses are largely female only.

Julie says,

“It is very encouraging that the engagement of women in STEM careers is accelerating but many still need to get that vital insight into what STEM at University and in their wider careers will involve. Headstart and Inspire help to provide that insight and often bring about that vital moment when it all clicks into place for young women and they can see how STEM careers will give them exciting and rewarding careers. The number of places on Inspire has doubled over the last five years and Headstart has been a successful introduction to STEM at university for over 20 years.”

EDT works with employers and educators to help young people understand the employment opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries. By delivering quality experiences for young people aged 9 to 21, EDT provides an insight into the world of work, helps develop skills and highlights career paths into industry.

EDT is the largest UK provider of STEM outreach, delivering 40,000+ experiences to young people annually, and draws on over 30 years of experience of linking employers with young people and educators. Mentoring and outreach opportunities are created through quality experiences which have a proven record of enthusing young people into STEM careers and of giving practical grounding to STEM studies.

EDT also co-ordinates Industrial Cadets, the nationally recognised accreditation for workplace experience. Industrial Cadets was inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales and is widely used in industry to ensure standards in work related experiences for young people and to provide a nationally recognised award structure for those who complete the accredited experiences.

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