Category Archives: STEM

ERS Hub issues grassroots rallying call as it looks to young people to fill the 100,000+ electrification jobs void

Engaging and boosting inclusivity at grassroots level with young people is going to be essential if the UK is going to fill the hundreds of thousands of expected job opportunities in electrification.

That’s the rallying call from Coventry University’s Deepak Farmah, who is currently helping to connect the emerging community through the Electric Revolution Skills Hub (ERS Hub), an integrated digital platform for providing inclusive access to training, development, and jobs in an electrified and greener future.

The Commercial Director for ERS Hub believes his team has made significant headway in creating an intuitive platform that has brought together education, training providers, employers and the future workforce all in one place, and with clear routes to courses and jobs.


However, he also feels that the big challenge now is to reach out to young people at primary and secondary schools, colleges and hard-to-reach youth groups to get them excited about the world of electrification as a diverse and inclusive sector.

“It is still a fledgling industry. The career paths and the type of jobs available are difficult enough to understand for adults, let alone young people trying to work out what the future holds,” explained Deepak.

“In a Gigafactory alone there are more than17 different roles you can aspire to, whilst in PEMD there are up to 80 knowledge profiles, ranging from motor engineer and design lead through to testing and validation. Our role is about showcasing these and demystifying how you get there.”

He continued: We’ve already started this work, with the aim of engaging with tens of thousands of pupils and hundreds of schools and groups already, but this is just the beginning.

“Our experts have been attending career fairs, industry events, launching podcasts and providing curiosity boxes to educational establishments. These are a great way to start the conversation and encourage young people to build a motor from scratch following a simple lesson plan that can be delivered by any teacher – not just a STEM one.”

The ERS Hub, which is co-funded by Coventry University and UKRI, is keen to support more STEM related activities at grassroots levels and recently threw its weight behind ProtoEV, the ultimate motorsport competition for schools, colleges, youth clubs and apprentices in the UK.

Organised by the Blair Project, five youth teams from South London spent twelve weeks of tireless work and testing to retrofit a fully electric e-kart, before putting it through its paces to try to claim the fastest lap at TRAQ Motor Racing in Croydon.

Leaways School took the first prize for its combined efforts on design, innovation, teamwork and speed, with Liam Palmer also securing the best teacher award. Oasis Play’s two teams finished second and third, as well as claiming the fastest lap accolade.

Experts from the ERS Hub joined Formula 1, Teamsport Karting and Innovate UK in a career session to raise awareness of possible jobs and careers in electrification.

“By providing hands-on experience in clean tech, we not only equip young people with essential skills but also ignite their passion for sustainable solutions and diversity in engineering. Witnessing their creativity and determination reassures me that the future of motorsports and clean technology is in capable and diverse hands,” added Deepak.

Richard Lane, Product Development Director at the ERS Hub, said: “Events like the ProtoEV Challenge are crucial in inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.

“Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is a major focus. We want to start conversations with youngsters from different backgrounds, who may not have access to mainstream career advice or opportunities.

“That is the only way we are going to create the pipeline of talent the UK is going to need to grasp the opportunity of electrification. Reducing barriers to entry is key and – the next generation can’t do it, if they can’t see their own path to get there.”

ERS Hub is in the early stages of its grassroots journey and the longer-term plan involves ‘educating the educators on the opportunities’ and pressing the button on a more youth-friendly platform that will appeal to young people.

For further information, please visit or follow it across its social media platforms.


Edwin James Group Commits to Graduate Investment.

Edwin James Group, a leading engineering services provider, has reaffirmed its commitment to investing in the next generation of talent. After successfully achieving its apprenticeship target in 2023, the company is now expanding its programme to include graduate apprenticeships, further strengthening its workforce and addressing skills shortages in the industry.

In 2021, the company committed to increasing the number of apprentices from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the workforce in two years. In 2023, apprentices accounted for 16 per cent of the workforce.

The decision to extend the programme to include graduate apprenticeships underscores the company’s dedication to fostering next generation skills. A number of existing colleagues have already taken advantage of the opportunity. The move aligns with the company’s overarching strategy: “learn, grow, and lead,” which emphasises continuous learning and professional development.

Recognising that the engineering landscape is evolving Edwin James Group is also prioritising multiskilling. Through the EJ Academy, a comprehensive training programme spanning various disciplines, the company aims to equip its workforce with the versatility needed to thrive in a dynamic environment.

Kevin Shinnie, regional director, Scotland said: “Reaching our apprenticeship target in 2023 was a significant milestone. Now, we’re poised to build on that success by expanding our programme to include graduate apprenticeships. Our ‘learn, grow, and lead’ strategy reflects our unwavering commitment to creating a future-proof workforce capable of tackling evolving challenges head-on. By investing in our employees’ skills and knowledge, we empower them for the future, ultimately enhancing our ability to serve our customers.”

The company has also strengthened its commitment to working with high schools to attract the engineers of the future. Several events have already been held with high schools in North and South Lanarkshire, offering interview assistance and valuable insights into STEM careers for students ranging from S2 to S4. The organisation intends to extend this programme to additional schools across Scotland.

Edwin James opened its third dedicated academy hub in the summer of 2023 and recently announced the appointment of Geoff Bruce to head up the EJ Academy programme, supporting learning and development across the group.

Pictured: Keir McAndrew and Naomi Watson


About Edwin James Group

Edwin James Group is an engineering services group that operates throughout the UK with offices and service centres in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Burton on Trent, Swadlincote, Louth, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Warrington, Peterborough, Daresbury, Tapton, Reading, Mildenhall, Whitehaven and Birmingham.

It offers a complete range of services, including facilities maintenance and infrastructure, renewable energy, process engineering and machine maintenance services, in addition to complex systems integration and digitalisation to support industry 4.0.

Edwin James Group now operates four brands: ACS, Musk Process Services, Parker Technical Services and Peak Technology Solutions.

The OR Society announces charity partnership with In2scienceUK to boost STEM skills amongst young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

In National Careers Week (4th – 9th March), The OR Society, the leading membership organisation for operational researchers, is partnering with the award-winning charity, In2scienceUK[i] to support young people from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the innovative In2STEM programme.

In2science was established in 2010 to unlock the potential of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and boost diversity and inclusion in the sector to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based industries.

The In2STEM programme[ii] provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people to collaborate with dedicated volunteer STEM professionals, undertaking cutting-edge research and learning STEM skills in some of Britain’s pioneering centres of STEM education, research and industry.

The programme is for 17-year-olds passionate about STEM and runs from 22 July to 23 August 2024. It offers a blend of online and in-person activities and equips students the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to excel in STEM. The programme is free to join, and the charity provides a bursary, to cover travel and lunch expenses during placements.

The OR Society is partnering with In2scienceUK to sponsor two young people who will have work placements and mentors within operational research at universities. They will also be delivering virtual workshops on operational research for the entire cohort of students participating in the programme at the end of the summer.

Operational research (OR) involves the application of advanced mathematical techniques such as modelling, optimisation, and simulation, with innovative problem-solving approaches, to address complex real-world challenges, and OR professionals are in high demand across many sectors.

However, a recent YouGov survey on behalf of education charity, Teach First[iii] highlighted the UK’s STEM skills shortage is at risk of growing, as more than half of parents (51%) from a lower socio-economic background believe their children are “unlikely” to have a career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

According to In2scienceUK there is an annual shortfall of 40,000 STEM skilled workers with the number of future technical jobs forecast to increase[iv]. With salaries in STEM being 20% higher than other sectors, In2scienceUK say getting more young people from low-income backgrounds into these professions promotes social mobility and fights economic inequality.


Chiara Carparelli, Education Manager at The OR Society said: “We are excited to help inspire the next generation of young STEM professionals. The In2STEM programme is helping to address the skills shortage and encourage young people to consider a STEM based career such as OR.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to make informed choices, boost their academic profile and prepare for a successful future in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Proficiency in STEM subjects is vital for those aspiring for a career in OR. With technologies like AI and data analytics advancing, job opportunities for OR specialists are expected to surge in the coming years and encouraging young people from all backgrounds into these careers is vital.”


To find out more about In2STEM, including how young people can apply visit:

To explore the career possibilities within OR visit:

About The OR Society

The OR Society is a member-led organization that supports professional operational researchers across various industries and academia. It serves as a vibrant community of professionals and researchers who collectively shape the future of operational research, data science, and analytics. The organization’s members address complex challenges across many industries, from optimization to modelling and improving systems, including healthcare. Celebrating its 75th anniversary from September 2023 to 2024, The OR Society is a registered charity that contributes to expanding the boundaries of the discipline through publications and events.

The OR Society 12 Edward Street, Birmingham, B1 2RX, UK Main Tel: +44 (0)121 233 9300 Email: Website:






Intellectual Property Office launches second programme to help people on a career break return to work

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and STEM Returners have joined forces for the second time to support STEM professionals return to work after a career break.

The IPO, the government organisation responsible for intellectual property rights, will run a new workplace returners programme at its Newport, South Wales, offices, where roles will include Service Designer and Junior Business Analyst. The placement will be on a hybrid-working basis.

The initial 12-week placement opportunity is open to anyone with a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who has had a career break. It will also include additional support and advice, career coaching, and mentoring, to help candidates be ready and confident to return to work. At the end of the programme, candidates will have the opportunity to apply for further opportunities within the IPO.

The programme follows the success of the first programme in 2020 in which Sarah O’Neill became an Associate Patent Examiner with the IPO after completing an initial 12-week placement.

Sarah applied for the programme after a five-year career break to care for her two children and returning to the UK. Sarah’s youngest child was three years old and starting nursery, so the time was right for her to look for a new role.

However, after living in Australia for nearly 15 years and with a background in engineering going back to 2002, Sarah felt a little apprehensive about applying for roles in the UK as all her experience was from abroad.

She said: “It was reassuring to know I was not alone, and others had returned to work after a career break.

“The IPO are so flexible; it has been amazing. I can work part time around the family, I have targets, but they are achievable. I’m really enjoying my time here.”

Annual research from STEM Returners (The STEM Returners Index) shows some of the challenges people face when trying to return to work, with recruitment bias a main barrier to entry.

Natalie Desty, director of STEM Returners, said: “Professionals like Sarah, have valuable experience and knowledge that will benefit any employer. Yet, a gap on their CV, of any length, means they face an uphill battle when trying to return after time away from the industry.

“We are very proud to continue working with the IPO to provide more opportunities for highly skilled people to return to STEM. Only by partnering with industry leaders like the IPO, will we make vital changes in recruitment practices, to help those who are finding it challenging to return to the sector and improve diversity and inclusion.”

Penny Phillpotts, IPO Director of People and Place, says of the programme: “We welcome the STEM Returners programme as a really practical way of supporting people with STEM skills through their first step back into employment after a career break. This scheme will enable us to give returners of all genders the chance to restart their STEM career and help us to recruit some great talent for the future.”

The programme is open to all STEM returners across the UK who have had any length of career break.

For more information or to apply to the scheme, please visit

Lets Break Barriers! Revolutionizing Recruitment to Empower Women In Tech

Written by Jenny Briant, Academy Operations Director at Ten10

Diversity has been a constant struggle for businesses, particularly in the tech industry and it comes simply just comes down to the lack of accessibility. We know that diverse teams can offer businesses so much, but outdated practices have made creating a diverse team challenging. Recruitment practices that aren’t always accommodating for women, particularly mothers, mean hiring teams are deterring a large population of potential talent.

Your job description is your first point of contact with a candidate. As such, it plays a central role in their perception of the company, the job role itself and the work environment. Bias language can seem subtle but makes an impression on a potential female candidate. I’ve previously seen words used such as ‘dominant’, ‘assertive’ or even something like ‘rockstar programmer’ – these can be so off-putting and daunting. These are words that are largely associated with men and often, albeit perhaps unintentionally, reflect traditional gender roles and stereotypes that can deter a female applicant.

Soft skills are increasingly becoming more important, especially in the tech industry; an industry that has historically placed emphasis on hard technical skills. One of the things I have recognised when I talk to female candidates is their hesitancy when they think they don’t have the right qualifications for a role despite clearly having demonstrable soft skills that are transferable to a lot of roles. Soft skills can mean anything from influencing others to emotional intelligence to resiliency, and all are hugely valuable to companies. And this is the case more so now than ever before as automation of technological skills increases, the need for soft skills, critical and creative thinking, as well as people management will become ever more important. There are also more roles in technology than ever before and roles beyond these super-technical skills.


How to change the workplace to accommodate them?

Imposter syndrome is a massive problem for women throughout the workforce, and disproportionality affects them, over their male colleagues. Essentially, imposter syndrome describes the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt in your ability at your job. Mothers in particular, are more likely to experience this when returning to work, feeling that they need to work harder to prove themselves among their male counterparts, and the drive to prove they’re ‘unburdened’ by their childcare responsibilities.

Fortunately, the tech industry especially can now can very easily offer flexibility. Remote and hybrid working has been a game changer for many working mothers and gives them a chance to continue their careers as well as be there for their children. Despite this, frustratingly some companies still seem stuck on the rigid structure of the 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in the office. If businesses were open to changing work structures, this would accommodate a larger proportion of women.

Mentorship programmes are also vitally important to changing the narrative of women in the world of tech. Companies need to ensure they have a strong team of women who help to break down stereotypes and barriers that typically discourage women from a career in the tech They can inspire women to set higher career goals and pursue opportunities they might not have considered otherwise and offer real-life, practical advice based on their own experiences. Whether that’s through outreach programmes or internally, women need to see what is possible from inspiring role models who have been through the process.


Why is it important?

It seems ridiculous that in 2023, we still have an industry where women are severely underrepresented. I must acknowledge that this has changed a lot over the last 20 years or so and it is going in the right direction, but we can’t ever get complacent. At the moment, we aren’t tapping into and harnessing such a large proportion of potential talent, largely due to stereotypes and subliminal messaging throughout education and the workplace. Recruitment is the first hurdle, and we’re still often failing.

One of the things I have seen more times than I should have are women interviewing for a job and having strong feelings of doubt that they can’t do this. Given how disproportionately imposter syndrome affects women, my team and I have added a question at the end of our interview process for female applicants: “Do you think you can do this?” If the response is uncertain, we will spend time reviewing their CV and highlighting exactly why they would be a good fit and why their skills are important. Taking that time to reassure women that they have just as much right and capability to be in the tech arena as a man, has made a massive difference to our recruitment process and I like to think, is helping to move towards an equal opportunity in the industry. The UK has set its sight on becoming a ‘tech superpower’ but if we’re not opening our doors to women and providing the right opportunities, we simply won’t get there.


Bias against race, age, and gender still preventing people return to STEM industries

Recruitment bias against race, age and gender continues to prevent STEM professionals who have had a career break return to employment, according to a new survey by STEM Returners.

The STEM Returners Index 2023, published in National Inclusion Week, showed women trying to return to the engineering industry after a career break are more likely to experience recruitment bias than men. Nearly a quarter (24%) of women said they felt they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender compared to nine percent of men.

In the survey, professionals from minority ethnic backgrounds represented a large proportion (39%) of candidates attempting to return to work in 2023. They were twice as likely as all other ethnic groups (34% vs average of 17%) to feel they have experienced bias in a recruitment process related to race or ethnicity.

Both men (29%) and women (25%) said they felt they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their age. As a result, 30% of returners say their personal confidence has been affected by the recruitment challenges they face, and their low confidence remains a barrier.

The Index asked more than 1,000 STEM professionals on a career break a range of questions to understand their experiences of trying to re-enter the STEM sector.

However, the latest results show some progress. In 2022, 29% of women said they felt bias due to their gender (5% more than this year) and overall, 38% of returners felt they had experienced bias in a recruitment process, compared to 33% this year. In 2022, 65% of participants said they found the process of getting back to work difficult or very difficult, but this year it was just over half (51%) of participants.


Natalie Desty, Founder and Director of STEM Returners, (pictured above) said that while progress should be celebrated, there was still a lot of work to be done, especially in helping returners who are residents in the UK and eligible to work, transfer their valuable skills and experience they acquired internationally.

She said: “For the first year since we launched the STEM Returners Index, we have seen that candidates are finding it slightly easier to return to work than they were this time last year. This is positive news but there are still too many people finding it an uphill battle.

“There are skills gaps across the engineering, tech and green jobs sectors – these gaps are growing, and the UK needs a diverse, agile and innovative STEM workforce more than ever. This talented and committed group of professionals are ready to help fill those roles. But they are still facing recruitment bias against their race, age, gender, and a perceived lack of experience.

“Women and professionals from minority ethnic backgrounds still face a significant disadvantage when attempting to return. People from minority ethnic backgrounds were 50% percent more likely than White British candidates to say they were finding the process of returning ‘very difficult’. This has to change. Additionally, we are seeing people who have moved to the UK from overseas are finding it difficult to transfer their international skills and experience to UK positions.

“Industry leaders need to do more to update recruitment practices and challenge unconscious bias to give returners a fair chance to rejoin the industry they are passionate about.”


In the survey, only a small proportion (12%) of career breakers stop working out of personal choice. Caring for others (both children and other family members) was the primary reason for a career break for 44% of respondents. Thirty-six per cent of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to childcare responsibilities compared to eight per cent of men, according to the results.

Despite 86% of respondents having career breaks lasting less than five years, 38% of candidates felt they have received bias related to lack of recent experience, signalling there is a perception that a break leads to a deterioration of skills.


Helping professionals return

When asked if they would have preferred to return to work through a supported returners programme, 40% of returners said yes. Despite the clear need for structured return to work programmes, only 21% had seen one, and only 16% had returned to work via this route – underlining the need for more STEM employers to think seriously about diversifying their approach to recruitment.

Partnering with STEM organisations to run paid, short-term returner programmes, STEM Returners has supported and mentored more than 400 returners back into permanent roles. STEM Returners is also part of the STEM ReCharge programme, which is funded but the Government’s Equality Hub, which is delivering free of charge return to work career coaching, job skills training and sector specific upskilling and mentoring designed to support parents and carers in the midlands and the north of England.


Elizabeth Chikwanha-Mavengano

Elizabeth Chikwanha-Mavengano had 14 years of engineering experience in Zimbabwe and South Africa including studying for a masters in civil engineering, before moving to the UK in 2023. She applied for several structural engineering roles but found it challenging to get an interview. She discovered STEM Returners and completed a programme with Amey Consulting after which she accepted a permanent role as a project manager, based in Sheffield.

She said: “I had lots of mining experience but there are no mines in the UK; I had a senior role in South Africa but without the UK experience, companies did not want to employ me, so I opted for junior roles, but I wasn’t familiar with some of the software, so I didn’t get anywhere.  But the STEM Returners programme has boosted my confidence and made me realise that I have wide range of skills and experience that brings value to my employer. I had the opportunity to be accepted in the industry without viewing my previous experience as a drawback. The focus was on providing me the opportunity to showcase my abilities and values as a professional in a different role.”


You can download the report here:



International Women In Engineering Day: Working In Water As A Woman Is A Secure And Lifelong Career

International Women in Engineering Day is upon us again and reminds us to celebrate the fantastic women excelling in their fields.

Over the last decade, engineering and broader STEM has been a much more attractive proposition for young women embarking on their careers than ever before. But we must do more to create balance and encourage more women into the sector.

What better way to do this than to meet the amazing women doing incredible jobs in the sector to hear about their experiences?


Meet: Holly Palmer, Contracts Manager at Alpheus Environmental


What is your current role, and how did you get there?

“I am Contracts Manager at Alpheus Environmental. I began my career at Alpheus at 16 years old where I was Helpdesk Co-ordinator and promoted to Helpdesk Manager a few years later. I then began a more technical role and have been in my current role for nearly 10 years.”


What does a typical workday look like for you?

“As my title suggests, I am responsible for the day-to-day delivery of our contracts, coordinating a growing team of field engineers on sites and across the business. My role is to ensure we deliver everything we are contractually obliged to, whilst working closely with our customers to evolve and improve any element of the contract as the relationship evolves.”

Was it always your dream to get into a role in the engineering sector?

“It would be safe to say it wasn’t my dream to get into this or any other engineering role if I am being honest. I left school and moved on to my A Levels. I had no idea what I really wanted to do, had no distinct long-term plan. At the time I recruited for Alpheus I was still studying for my A-Levels, I was speaking to the lady I was babysitting for about not being sure that A-Levels were right for me at the time, and she mentioned that there was a job going at Alpheus if I wanted to take a break from studying for a while.

“I got the job. I started a week later. My view was that I would spend a year in the job, bank some money and return to my A Levels. That didn’t quite go to plan, I was engrained in the businesses working with amazing colleagues – several women – and growing my knowledge of wastewater and water recycling. I became invested and was subsequently promoted in 2008 to Supervisor and was suddenly managing people older than myself. I had carved myself a career and didn’t need to return to my A Levels, but thanks to Alpheus financially supporting my I did a HNC in Business, and then I funded a HND myself remotely to.”


Did you worry about, or have you experienced, any issues being a woman in your role?

“I wouldn’t say I was worried about any issues I may face; I would have just considered it a challenge. My gender does not define my abilities, and thanks to the support of my team, the vast majority being men, I have been able to do my job without my gender even being considered. Likewise with our customers, I don’t face any misogyny. Not to say it wasn’t present in the past. There have been a few times where I have advised on the telephone and given my expert opinion, only for the contact to get in touch with a male colleague – in the same office – to get their opinion. It is hard to put into words the feelings this rose in me. But rather than let it define me, I just continue to give my opinion and use my knowledge and to prove my credentials. Someone coming into the industry, especially young women, may find some things a little awkward. For instance, some of the older generation may refer to you as ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’. But honestly, it doesn’t mean anything. Its cultural and I know there is nothing behind it. These same men trust my opinions, work hard in the team.”


Have you met or worked with other influential women in engineering who inspire you?

“I began my career working with several great women on the helpdesk and I looked up to them all. I learned so much from them, and they had been working on a majority male environment longer than myself. Every woman that works at the company is great. We have some highly intelligent people – one of my colleagues has a doctorate in Wastewater Management – and she blows my mind with her knowledge. We have women of all walks of life working at Alpheus, these women have incredible knowledge and experience in their individual roles, and they are all fundamental to a successful team.


What can the engineering sector do to inspire and attract young women to the profession?

“It stems from school age, initially. Career days we would learn about roles such as nurses or police officers, often parents of a pupil. You would never see anyone from STEM careers. I think it would be great if Alpheus and similar companies could spend the time visiting schools and promoting the sector. I also think school tours – small groups for no more than half an hour – are a great way of building excitement in what we do, especially at primary school age when their curiosity is building. We can’t deny that to children poo is funny. My niece calls where I work the ‘Poo Office’. But starting from something funny and giggly like poo and showing how we convert that to clean and clear water, seems magic. Its exciting. It is a great way to get them engaged.

“One final thing to say is to the board and managers of all STEM companies; you need more female representation at that level, certainly in decision making. As time progresses, we will see more women in senior positions, but in the short term if you are planning to make changes to policies or working practices, make sure women have a say. It’s the only way to prove how dedicated we are to equality.”

British Science Week: Discovery Education Provides Stem Resources To UK Schools

As British Science Week approaches, Discovery Education – the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place – is providing primary schools with dynamic digital resources to make STEM learning fun.

Taking place from 10 – 19 March, British Science Week is an annual celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.  The theme of this year’s event is Connections and the Discovery Education resources will provide fun and engaging ways to introduce this topic to young learners.

Available via the award-winning digital learning service Discovery Education Espresso, the resources have been specially curated to help schools mark British Science Week and ignite student curiosity in STEM. From exploring space, natural habitats, materials and the weather to getting hands on with real-life science experiments, the curriculum-matched content will cover a wide range of topics.

Suitable for students from Foundation to KS2, the British Science Week resources will provide teachers with lesson plans, videos and activities to bring STEM learning to life.


The resources include:

  • Becoming an Astronaut : A glimpse inside the European Space Agency, looking at life in space and how to become an astronaut
  • Women in Science: A special report with leading British Scientists, including planetary scientist Suzie Imber
  • Game Design : An exciting hands-on activity, challenging pupils to design and make their own circuit game


Howard Lewis, Discovery Education’s UK and International Managing Director said:

“Discovery Education is proud to support British Science Week by providing teachers with engaging resources to bring STEM learning to life. Today’s students are tomorrow’s innovators, so it’s important that we ignite their curiosity at a young age and make hands-on science fun!”


The British Science Week resources are available to Discovery Education subscriber schools via Discovery Education Espresso, the curriculum-centred daily learning platform for primary schools.

Explore Discovery Education’s award-winning digital learning services at


Find out more about British Science Week at .



Winners celebrate at the TechWomen100 Awards 2022

Vanessa Vallely OBE calls on employers to redress ‘pitifully low’ 21% representation of women in tech with female tech talent pipeline clear to see

Over 100 extraordinary and inspiring women working in tech, came together to celebrate at the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards on Tuesday December 6th at the QEII Centre in London.

The TechWomen100 Awards, powered by Barclays, focus on the achievements of up-and-coming women currently working in tech below senior management level. By shining a light on the female tech talent pipeline, the Awards seek to encourage and support the next generation of female tech role models and leaders.

Now in their fifth year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise the impact of individuals, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations of tech talent. They form a key part of the WeAreTechWomen’s campaign to find and support 1,000 future female leaders in technology by 2025. So far, since 2015, the TechWomen100 awards have highlighted the achievements of 450 women.

This year’s Awards attracted over 1,000 entries from which a diverse panel of 20 independent industry judges identified a shortlist of 200. The public was then asked to show its support by voting for these incredible women. A second round of judging by the panel resulted in 100 winners being chosen alongside the overall winner of the public vote to for the 2022 TechWomen100 winners.


“I would like to extend huge congratulations to this year’s winners of the TechWomen100 Awards,” says Vanessa Vallely OBE, managing director, WeAreTechWomen. “While the Awards event was a great celebration of the female tech talent pipeline, the fact remains women represent only 21% of the tech industry which is pitifully low.

 “This year’s winners have proved beyond doubt that women can contribute significantly to tech roles bringing creativity, leadership, vision and commitment to this exciting field. As these women pay it forward, create communities, support each other and use their platforms to encourage more women and girls into the industry, I would call upon more employers to step up to support women in tech roles so that more top talent will be attracted to and retained by the sector.”


The TechWomen100 Awards 2022 are powered by Barclays and sponsored by Accenture, BAE Systems, Bank of America, BT, Clifford Chance, Credit Suisse, Funding Circle, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, Ipsos Mori, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, PwC and Sky. In addition, Durham University and Google are the education partners for this year’s awards, honouring the female talent pipeline in technology.


“At Barclays, we’re focused on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that enables our female colleagues to fulfil their career aspirations,” says Craig Bright, Group Chief Information Officer, Barclays.  “As a leader in technology, this means really investing in how we attract, retain and develop our female tech talent. Recognising and celebrating female technologists is fundamental to closing the gender gap and building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across the industry,” he believes. “Barclays is committed to supporting and empowering women in tech to realise their full potential. We seek to promote, support and amplify the voices of those leading positive change and inspiring others, which is why we’re proud to be the headline sponsor for the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards.”


TechWomen100 Awards 2022 Winners


Champion of the Year – Gemma Willman, Head of Workforce Enablement, Natwest Group

Gemma was chosen for her passion in driving the gender agenda for women in technology

both internally and externally.


Company of the Year – Finastra

Finastra was chosen for its initiatives to elevate women in technology alongside its inclusive internal policies which help women to feel supported, both in life and their careers.


Network of the Year – Barclays Women in Technology (WIT)

Barclays was chosen for its incredible internal initiatives to support their women in tech.


Global Achievement Award – Amna Habiba, founder of BloomED

Just 16 years old, Amna was chosen for her outstanding efforts to teach 1000s of girls in Pakistan how to code.


Three additional awards include:

The Editor’s Choice, Lifetime Achievement and the Winner of the Public Vote.


Editor’s Choice Award – Flavilla Fongang, Founder of 3 Colours Rule

Flavilla was selected for her outstanding contribution towards building a pipeline of women in tech while simultaneously raising the profiles of black women in the tech industry.


Lifetime Achievement Award – Russ Shaw CBE, Founder of Tech London Advocates & Global

Tech Advocates

Russ was recognised for his outstanding support for women in tech.


Public Vote Winner – Ekta Soni, Wipro

Her outstanding work attracted just over 5,000 global votes.


Full details of the TechWomen100 Awards 2022 can be seen here


National Grid’s partnership with Connectr inspires 50,000 young people into STEM careers in its major education programme’s second year

Award-winning HR platform and talent solutions specialist, Connectr, today announced the results from its partnership with National Grid, and its London Power Tunnels project (LPT), in delivering a dynamic programme to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders.

LPT, a major engineering scheme to rewire the Capital, has worked with Connect to deliver an ambitious five-year campaign encouraging disadvantaged students in Years 9-13 across South London communities into a STEM-focussed career. Launched in 2020, the programme blends digital and in-person activity with an aim to impact 100,000 young people by 2025 – however, at the end of its second year, the initiative has already engaged over 50,000 students.

Over the last 12 months, highlights include:

  • 12,467 workshops and Q&A sessions
  • 4,754 assembly takeovers
  • 12,906 Resource Packs to a network of educators
  • A Virtual Work Experience Week to 190 students, supported by 12 guest speakers and 10 Digital Mentors
  • 1,035 insight events

The success of year two was supported by 100 volunteers from National Grid, and engaged a total of 31,352 students – exceeding its second year target by 43%.

The STEM and career programmes give back to the communities impacted by LPT and its tunnelling works by showcasing career routes into STEM for socio-economically disadvantaged young people. The programme not only supports National Grid’s wider objective of working towards a greener grid, but also proactively addresses the demand for the energy sector to fill 400,000 roles by 2050 in order to successfully reach Net Zero.


Connectr designed the programme with National Grid to inspire an underrepresented community of students and their educators during the UK’s pandemic recovery through a dynamic blend of activity, whilst offering a meaningful volunteering opportunity to National Grid employees.

Utilising Connectr’s engagement platform and wider services, this included:

  • In-person workshops for Years 9, 11 & 12
  • Virtual Q&A sessions for Years 9-13
  • Online events across key dates including National Apprenticeship Week and Engineering Week for Years 9-13
  • Assembly takeovers
  • Resource packs for educators to deliver classroom workshops
  • Virtual Work Experience Week for Years 11, 12 & 13
  • Digital mentoring support


Connectr’s Founder and Managing Director, Will Akerman, commented, “I am thrilled to see the impact our partnership with National Grid has delivered so far. Connectr is built upon a mission to give every person equal power and opportunity to shape their future – and the success to date of The London Power Tunnels Project truly exemplifies this. I’m delighted to see how Connectr’s platform and services are facilitating such positive change and very much look forward to continuing this impact alongside National Grid into Year 3 and beyond.”


Gareth Burden, Project Director for National Grid said: “Growing our next generation of STEM leaders starts with our young people. The Connectr programme brings engineering to life for students, helping them to practise and develop solutions for complex problems. It is a perfect fit with our aim to encourage and inspire young people to work on ground-breaking projects, showing them a STEM career is one with purpose and an exciting future.”


For more information on Connectr’s learning technology, visit