Raising the aspirations of girls from low-income communities, particularly in the areas of STEM and sport, forms the basis of the SSE and Teach First partnership.
Careers in science, technology, engineering and maths are facing a diversity challenge; just 13% of STEM professionals are female. This is not only a social injustice, but it is also economically unsustainable. In addition, SSE is warning of a skill shortage across the energy industry in particular with around 50% of the sector’s workforce expected to retire by 2023.
As the flagship partner for women in STEM, SSE will work with Teach First partner schools to ensure its pupils have the skills they need for future employment. Senior SSE employees will go into classrooms to show pupils the opportunities available to all in the energy sector. They will also take part in the Workplace programme, allowing pupils to visit SSE sites for an insight into the different career paths open to them.
Gregor Alexander, SSE’s Finance Director is clear on the need for a long term approach to securing future talent: “The UK future workforce demographics are changing and becoming more diverse. For SSE to be sustainable we must invest in the uptake of STEM skill choices at schools and encourage a more diverse pool of future employees. Our partnership with Teach First allows us to make this investment at scale and opens up opportunities to a broader range of children, regardless of background. We are proud to be helping make such a meaningful difference in young people’s lives together with Teach First.”
In addition to this engagement on STEM, the two organisations will work together on the wellbeing and resilience of pupils from low-income backgrounds through The SSE Women's FA Cup.
From involving pupils in the draws to bringing female footballers to speak to young people in the classroom, this is a unique opportunity for pupils from low-income backgrounds to engage in national sporting events and meet successful role models to inspire them to their next steps in life.