BAE commits £500,000 to digital skills education programme

By Tim Aldred

09 Mar 2023

Bae Systems Create Education Desktop

BAE Systems has committed £500,000 over the next three years to helping thousands of young people from across Lancashire to improve their digital skills.

The aerospace giant is backing Chorley-based CREATE Education, which will use the funds to expand its digital skills education programme in the region in a bid to reach 18,000 young people.

The programme works with schools in the county, giving them access to the very latest industry-standard equipment and expertise. Each school which takes part is provided with its own 3D printer and interactive training workshops for staff and students by CREATE Education.

Since the programme started, more than 100 teachers from 52 Lancashire secondary schools have received training in the use of printers and associated technology. They have also had support to embed learning into their school’s curriculum.

As a result, more than 2,500 Year 8 students have so far been given the opportunity to take part in interactive, hands-on workshops and develop their STEM and digital skills by designing and producing a 3D printed product.

Cliff Robson, managing director of BAE Systems Air sector, said: "As a major employer in Lancashire, we believe we have an important role to play inspiring the future generation and highlighting the breadth of exciting careers opportunities available to young people who have an interest in STEM.

"3D printing is playing an increasingly important role in manufacturing and the partnership has been an excellent way to reach and engage with more young people from across the county, teaching the critical skills the industry needs for the future and stimulating their interest in STEM-based careers."

Thanks to the success of the programme and the commitment to extend the partnership, an extra 9,000 primary school students from around 100 schools across the region will now have the opportunity to take part, this will double the number of Year 8 pupils the programme aims to reach to 18,000 overall.

Paul Croft, founder and director at CREATE Education, said: "It’s our mission to provide access to this inspirational additive manufacturing technology allowing young people the chance to learn and develop the necessary skills needed for the future.

"This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support from BAE Systems and we’re delighted to have been able to work with more than 50 schools so far. We’re hugely excited by the opportunity that further investment from BAE Systems will provide."

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