Petrofac Training supports drive to promote STEM education

10 July 2015

As part of Petrofac’s group-wide Social Investment programme, employees across the UK have been inspiring the next generation as part of the Connecting STEM Teachers project. This UK-wide educational project aims to provide local support for the teachers of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects so they can develop the knowledge and skills required to engage a greater number and wider spectrum of students with STEM education

Central to the project is a national network of Teacher Coordinators (TC), employed as consultants by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), whom Petrofac has a well-established relationship with and has been supporting since 2009, to provide these teachers with free training, ideas and resources to help them enhance the learning experience. Petrofac’s Aberdeen, Woking, London and Great Yarmouth offices are currently supporting the project.

Pete Walker, Petrofac Training Services’ Regional Manager for Response Services and Major Emergency Management, based in Aberdeen, is just one of a number of Petrofac people spending time in schools across the UK as part of the initiative. He has delivered career talks to pupils at Banchory Academy in Aberdeenshire, including an overview of crisis and disaster management. This has allowed teachers to begin a STEM project on the role of engineers in a disaster scenario and the challenges in managing large number of displaced people, with materials supplied by the RAE through Petrofac.

Pete Walker with Banchory Academy Pupils

Pete said: “For me, the project is a great way of engaging and educating teenagers who often feel overwhelmed by all the important decisions they have to make about subjects to study, career paths and so on.

“Last year, we took on Ryan Martin, a 17 year-old Banchory Academy school leaver, for a 12 month work development role as an Emergency Response Operator following coaching sessions on cover letters, CVs, presentations and interviews. He has excelled in the role which just shows you the benefits of a great company-school partnership.

“As well as flying the STEM flag, we have been able to provide Banchory Academy pupils with life-skills coaching which we hope will lead these youngsters to fulfilling employment long-term.”

Since 2009, Petrofac has invested approximately £750,000 in skills development through its partnership with the RAE, notably through the Fellowship programme and more recently through Connecting STEM Teachers in a bid to address the engineering skills gap.