From education to employment

New training to tackle £1.5 billion STEM skills shortage

Boost to science learning outside the classroom in the North, Launch of Science Museum Group Academy in Manchester will provide free training and resources for teachers.

With research showing that the STEM skills shortage costs UK businesses around £1.5 billion per year, the Science and Industry Museum are pleased to announce the Manchester launch of the Science Museum Group Academy.

The Academy, based at the Science and Industry Museum, will provide training and resources for teachers to support STEM learning outside a classroom environment. Science teachers across the North of England are set to benefit from the Manchester launch of the Science Museum Group Academy, on Monday, 18 March.

The Academy, based at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, will deliver inspiring and impactful training for teachers to help them boost science engagement and learning outside the classroom environment. And, through funding support from BP, Academy courses will be free for UK teachers.

At each course, teachers will be able to try a range of techniques and resources designed to help them engage students with STEM and link it to their everyday lives and the experiences that matter to them.

The first course in Manchester for primary teachers will take place in June, with a course for secondary teachers available in July.

The training offered at the Science Museum Group Academy is underpinned by the Department for Education’s standards for teacher’s professional development, and shares the science capital teaching approach which will lead to greater engagement with science and improved behaviour in the classroom.

Science capital is a measure of your relationship with science, how much you value it and whether you feel it is ‘for you’ and connected with your life.

Research shows that the more science capital a young person has, the more likely they are to study science post-16. Yet national survey data shows that 27% of all 11 to 17 year olds have low science capital, particularly those from disadvantaged schools and communities. This limits their opportunities and outcomes in life and contributes to the shortfall in young people in the UK choosing STEM subjects.

Susan Raikes, Director of Learning for the Science Museum Group, said:

‘Helping more people find meaning and relevance in science is at the heart of the Science Museum Group’s mission to inspire futures. The Academy’s vital work – which is only possible thanks to BP’s support – is a critical part of this mission. Each STEM practitioner supported by the Academy will gain the tools to create incredible science engagement opportunities for a much wider audience, helping to address the challenges of low engagement with science across the UK.’

Peter Mather, Group Regional President, Europe and Head of Country, UK at BP, said:

‘Continuing BP’s 50 years of support for STEM education in the UK, we are delighted to be working with the Science Museum Group to build deeper engagement across the UK with the STEM subjects. As we make the transition to a lower carbon future, the STEM skills essential for our future sustainability are in scarce supply. Our work with schools, communities, families and teachers has an important role to play in helping to maintain and grow the talent needed for our shared future.’

The Science Museum Group Academy is the UK’s first dedicated centre of expertise for practitioners in the informal STEM sector. Research-informed science engagement training courses will be delivered free of charge to over 2,500 UK teachers, museum and science centre professionals and STEM practitioners (including STEM ambassadors) each year by the Academy.

The training will be delivered at the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester (from July 2019) and at other locations across the UK. To access the Academy’s online hub visit

About the Science and Industry Museum: The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global, industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. From textiles to computers, the objects and documents held in the museum’s collection tell stories of everyday life over the last 200 years, from light bulbs to locomotives.  The museum’s mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

About the Science Museum Group: We are the world’s leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon.

We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our astonishingly diverse collection spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright’s textile machinery, Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television.

Our mission is to inspire futures – igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe.

About BP: A global energy business with wide reach across the world’s energy system. The energy we produce serves to power economic growth and lift people out of poverty. In the future, the way heat, light and mobility are delivered will change.

We aim to anchor our business in these changing patterns of demand, rather than in the quest for supply. We have a real contribution to make the world’s ambition of a low carbon future. We operate in 70 countries worldwide, and employ around 74,000 people.

In the UK, we supported around 141,000 jobs in 2017 – approximately 1 in every 226 across the whole of the UK economy.

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