£350k in grants awarded for STEM education

Judith Armstrong, chief executive of Millennium Point

Birmingham’s Millennium Point Trust has awarded grants worth £350,000 to a wide range of local beneficiaries to encourage the growth of STEM education in the city.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is an integrated learning programme, and some estimates suggest that a lack of STEM skills costs the UK as much as £1.5bn per year, as businesses struggle to recruit staff with the right qualifications in the relevant sectors.

Recent research indicates that almost 1 in 5 business involved in science, technology, engineering or maths, are finding it difficult to recruit the right staff and have turned to expensive overseas recruitment to fill the gap.

The Trust is funded by Millennium Point, Birmingham’s Eastside anchor building.

The grants have been awarded to six organisations with the biggest recipient being Birmingham Museums Trust, which will receive almost £282,000 to support their work in making 2018-19 “years of engineering and innovation”.

The remaining grant funding is being shared between Holywell Primary school in Rubery, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, the Ahead Partnership, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation for families whose children are in hospital.

Millennium Point chief executive Judith Armstrong said: “This year we received a record number of applications and deciding which should receive awards was challenging. There are many creditable projects out there deserving funding, but this range of awards will ensure that our focus on promoting STEM, particularly to young people, is maintained.”

As well as awarding grants directly to local organisations, the Trust funds one degree course at Birmingham City University for a local underprivileged young person, in order to help them build a career in a STEM business.