Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Caithness And Lochaber Confirmed For Norwegian Style Learning Centres

21st February 2017

Photograph of Caithness And Lochaber Confirmed For Norwegian Style Learning Centres

Young people in Caithness and Lochaber will be among the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres.

The centres are aimed at helping young people pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital (STEMD).

They are being developed by the Science Skills Academy (SSA), a partnership project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), with £3 million from the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

They will be modelled on the Norwegian Newton Rooms, which work with schools and local employers to provide inspirational STEMD education in the most remote parts of Norway.

Other organisations behind the initiative include Skills Development Scotland, the University of the Highlands and Islands, The Highland Council and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

The centres will provide resource support for practical STEMD activity in schools and an accessible base for extracurricular projects.

An estimated 1,000 new high-quality jobs in biosciences and a further 5,000 in renewable energy are anticipated in the next five to eight years. Developing a suitably skilled workforce is essential to ensure employers of these jobs locate in the Highlands and Islands.

To that end SSA is planning a series of Newton Room across the region to help ensure there are sufficient numbers of young people with the STEMD skills needed for future economic growth.

SSA funding was confirmed at a formal signing of the £315 million Inverness and Highland City Region Deal on 30 January.

This was signed by Councillor Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, The Scottish Government, and Lord Andrew Dunlop, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Scotland Office).

At a SSA project steering group meeting in Thurso today (Tuesday 21 February), members discussed potential locations for the Caithness centre. More detailed analysis of these will be carried out before a decision is reached.

A similar meeting next week in Fort William will consider potential locations for the Lochaber centre.

Welcoming the progress, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said:

"These new facilities for Caithness and Lochaber will address the shortage of skills related to science, technology, engineering and maths/digital to help us meet current and future needs of the STEM labour market.

"This is a great example of how the Scottish Government's £135 million investment in Inverness and the Highlands through the City Region Deal announced last month will improve access to jobs, education and healthcare and support our commitment to bring economic prosperity to all parts of Scotland."

Andrew Johnston, SSA project director, said:

"This is about taking the best examples of STEMD activity from around the Highlands and Islands, developing them and making them widely available to spark the interest of all young people in the region.

"We are working with partners in the field to provide a coherent STEMD learning experience throughout a young person's education. This in turn will provide opportunities for young people to pursue careers in some of the emerging and future technological developments.

"It's great to be able to confirm the general locations for the first learning centres. There are several potentially suitable sites in both Caithness and Lochaber. We will be exploring these options in detail in order to maximise the benefits the centres will bring.

"Whatever specific locations are chosen the centres will be there for the benefit of all young people across the whole of Caithness and Lochaber."

Councillor Roger Saxon, Area Chair for Caithness, said: "This realises one of our ambitions in the recently published ‘Vision for Caithness’ and is really good news for Caithness, especially for young people and employers in the area. Newton Rooms are very well equipped science rooms and will encourage primary, high school and tertiary students to study STEM/D subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Digital. It is good to see some of the City-Region Deal money coming to the north and there is no better way to invest this than in building future skills and opportunities in our workforce."

Area Chair for Lochaber Cllr Thomas Maclennan said: "I am delighted to hear confirmation that a Newton Room will be located in Lochaber. This is great news for the local economy which will see a rapid manufacturing expansion over the next few years. Developing STEMD skills is vital to our young population and to the development of a stronger and healthier economy. This creates an opening for major local employers to get involved with shaping the skills base for the future. I am hopeful that this investment from the City-Region Deal will underline the opportunities and signify confidence in the future of Lochaber ."

SSA hopes to have the first STEMD learning centre in place by the end of the year.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Hie Appoints New DirectorThumbnail for article : Hie Appoints New Director
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of business and sector development.   Originally from County Durham, David Oxley joined the organisation in 2004 as head of operations in Lochaber before moving to Forres with his wife and son in 2011 to take up the role of area manager in Moray.  
New Life Science Building On Inverness Campus Takes A Step Forward
The development of Inverness Campus moves another step forward with tenders being invited to build a second life science building.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading on the development of the campus.  
Aerospace And Defence Sector Opportunities In The Region Highlighted At Event
Aerospace and defence sector opportunities in the region highlighted at event Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries.   It will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September 2017 The event is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.  
Celebrating The Contribution Communities Make To Scotland
Over 250 community leaders from across Scotland will meet in Aviemore today and tomorrow (21-22 September) at a national conference to look at the impact and future role of community-led development on Scotland's social and economic fortunes.   The event, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported by the Scottish Government, brings together community groups, academia and experts to discuss the vital contribution communities make to Scotland and consider how to support their continuing and increasing ambitions.  
Wes Takes Steps To Harness The Waves With New Control Systems Funding
Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has just announced over £660K of funding for 13 new projects aiming to develop innovative control systems for wave energy converters.   This initiative brings together control systems specialists from mature sectors such as aerospace and oil and gas, to work with Scottish technology developers in addressing the challenges of controlling and integrating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) systems and their components.  
HIE Helps Businesses Get Cyber StrongThumbnail for article : HIE Helps Businesses Get Cyber Strong
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is offering its clients across the region support to protect themselves from cyber attacks, by launching the Cyber Strong business project.   Co-inciding with Digital Leaders Cyber Resilience Week (11-15 September 2017), the agency is launching a programme to help local businesses and social enterprises achieve national Cyber Essentials accreditation.  
Workshop Focuses On Food And Drink Innovation
Food and drink businesses looking to grow through innovation are encouraged to register for a free workshop which takes place in Inverness on 31 August.   The event will focus on the new ‘Make Innovation Happen' service which provides a single access point for all innovation support to the Scottish food and drink industry.  
Scottish Expertise Goes On Show At World's Biggest Aquaculture Technology FairThumbnail for article : Scottish Expertise Goes On Show At World's Biggest Aquaculture Technology Fair
Twenty-three Scottish companies are travelling to Norway this week to highlight the country's expertise at the world's largest aquaculture technology exhibition.  Aqua Nor 2017 gets under way in Trondheim on Tuesday (15 August 2017), and runs until Friday (18 August 2017).  
Cabinet secretary stresses role of public sector in supporting NC500Thumbnail for article : Cabinet secretary stresses role of public sector in supporting NC500
The successful North Coast 500 tourist route will need strong co-ordinated support from the public sector to ensure its long term sustainability.   Experiences of the initiative should also be shared with groups around the country looking to develop similar projects.  
Study Shows North Coast 500 Route Added £9million Extra SpendingThumbnail for article : Study Shows North Coast 500 Route Added £9million Extra Spending
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade.   This is according to a new report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  

[Printer Friendly Version]