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HomeEditors commentHOW YOU CAN SPREAD THE STEM GOSPEL

HOW YOU CAN SPREAD THE STEM GOSPEL

The CFA can help you get started as a STEM Ambassador, and by contacting the association, you can reserve one of its STEM Ambassador Kits.

IF you’ve heard the acronym ‘STEM’ recently then you might have wondered what it stands for. Simply put, it’s shorthand for the disciplines science, technology, engineering, and math. Being a STEM Ambassador gives you the tools and experience of working in that field. As a STEM Ambassador, you’re essentially working with young people by bringing real-life industry experience to life and educating them about STEM-related careers and opportunities.


The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) careers product manager Stephen George said: ‘Without knowing what’s available, young people that would have been great in construction could drift into other sectors. Our ambassadors help inspire the next generation. Not everyone has a role model at home or at school who inspires them to know what they want to do with their lives – sharing your story could be that spark.’


The first time I realised how important STEM ambassadors may be to flooring was when Shaun Wadsworth, FITA and CFA training manager, wrote an article on the subject in the training section of CFJ in October 2021. Echoing the CITB message, Shaun emphasised that these ambassadors can play an essential role in inspiring young people to consider a career in construction through a range of activities, including school presentations, careers talks and mentoring.


‘By joining forces with STEM Ambassadors, the industry will have one scheme for all employers and ambassadors and build on plans made by The Construction Leadership Council’s commitment to recruit 7,000 STEM ambassadors, as outlined in their Industry Skills Plan. STEM Ambassadors can help employers connect with young people, motivating them to become the next generation of our industry. Through programmes in schools, colleges and out-of-school groups, STEM Ambassador aims to grow the UK’s workforce with talented individuals who fully understand and have engaged with construction and built environments.’


Shaun pointed out that ambassadors can share their journey within the trade to promote our sector. They can also raise aspirations by showing young people future opportunities available to them, regardless of their background.


Now, this month, Richard Catt, ceo of the CFA, has announced that he and Shaun have decided to gain experience, lead by example and get directly involved in the scheme by becoming STEM ambassadors.


That means they’ll give up some time to visit schools or colleges to do short presentations, hold workshops and perhaps attend careers events. The intention is to build a network of CFA-supported Flooring STEM Ambassadors. ‘I’m really excited about this project and would like to invite expressions of interest from anyone who works for a CFA member (contractors, manufacturers, or distributors), if you’d like to be included on our list of Flooring STEM Ambassadors.’

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