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Moray Growth Deal: £4.8m project to boost Stem subject education in Moray

Abigail Campbell from Cullen Primary and David Wallace from Dallas Primary at RAF Lossiemouth for a STEM workshop in 2019.
Abigail Campbell from Cullen Primary and David Wallace from Dallas Primary at RAF Lossiemouth for a STEM workshop in 2019.

Millions of pounds will be spent to boost the education of Moray youngsters in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) skills.

The £4.8 million scheme is part of the £100m pound Moray Growth Deal that has been backed by both the UK and Scottish governments.

Cash will go towards creating specialist bespoke facilities in eight associated school groups to facilitate learning in Stem subjects for young people aged three to eight.

This could mean renovating existing space, making use of vacant units in towns and villages or erecting new buildings.

Councillors will consider a detailed report on Thursday, when they have been asked to agree £1.3m to help with management costs, refurbishment of buildings and to supply equipment for the project that will receive £3.5m from the Scottish Government.

Over the years, there have been concerns raised about attainment at broad general education and at a senior phase in Moray being lower than the Scottish average.

Successful STEM learning in Moray leads to nationwide roll out

Now Moray Council is working with RAF Lossiemouth, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Moray College UHI, The University of the Highlands and Islands, Skills Development Scotland, DYW Moray, NHS Grampian, Boeing and Gordon and MacPhail in efforts to create a more skilled workforce in years to come.

The local authority is also looking to recruit a Stem officer on £60,000 per year to continue and accelerate the process of changing the culture around Stem and build bases with various firms.

Council depute chief executive Rhona Gunn said the benefits will “be realised” 10-15 years from the beginning of the initiative.

Mrs Gunn said: “This workforce will also able to benefit from the opportunities that will arise in the skilled workforce to work remotely allowing the benefits of well paid jobs located elsewhere in the world to be spent locally.

“A Moray College UHI curriculum that is aligned with the current and future needs of businesses in Moray will enable not only those coming through the Moray school system to study here but also attract students from out with the region.

“By improving attainment at all levels young people will be more self-confident, have higher self-esteem and improved opportunities throughout their life.”

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