L-R: Paul Drechsler, Brent Cheshire, Melanie Onn, Jason Ledden
DONG Energy has partnered with education charity Teach First to transform the skills landscape for young people in Grimsby, Hull and Merseyside with a focus on STEM subjects.
The three-year partnership launched with Melanie Onn MP at Ormiston South Parade Academy today, will see DONG Energy support Teach First on a number of challenging targets to improve the teacher attraction and retention, and pupil progression in these towns.
Melanie Onn, MP for Great Grimsby, said: "I am delighted that DONG Energy is committing to supporting education services in Great Grimsby and will be working with Ormiston South Parade Academy.
"Teach First is a great initiative that expands the knowledge and skills of teachers, giving them all the tools they need to inspire children that may face more barriers than others.
"We know that our area struggles to recruit and retain high quality teaching staff, this partnership will help to tackle that issue. The focus on STEM subjects is incredibly important to the whole Humber area because of the off-shore wind sector, but also the broader renewables, petro-chemicals and pharmaceutical industries that are on our doorstep."
DONG Energy, the UK's leading offshore wind company, has existing projects off both the North East and North West coast. With more projects in the pipeline, such as Burbo Bank Extension which is coming online this year, the company is investing billions in these areas. Teach First is an education charity that believes disadvantage should not determine destiny and is working across society to change educational outcomes for children from low-income backgrounds across England and Wales.
DONG Energy's financial support will enable Teach First to further its work in addressing educational inequalities in areas like Grimsby, Hull and Merseyside. With this new partnership, Teach First will aim to place more teachers in these areas, with a specific focus on STEM-related subjects.
DONG Energy's local employees will underpin the partnership's impact by volunteering their time. Through coaching the teachers, they will help them develop the business skills they need to become excellent leaders in the classroom. Direct interaction with local students through mentoring and visits will give the young people insight into opportunities to build successful careers in the offshore wind industry and beyond.
Brent Cheshire, DONG Energy's UK Country Chairman, said: "DONG Energy is committed to large-scale investment and growth in the communities in which we operate and we are delighted to be working with Teach First towards making a real difference in these towns. We want to ensure pupils leave school with the skills, qualifications and aspiration to access the growing number of job opportunities right here in their hometowns.
"We're one of the biggest investors in the Northern Powerhouse and have made a significant impact in regenerating these coastal areas. Investing in education is part of this long term strategy. We will be supporting a range of skilled jobs in the area over the coming decades in order to maintain and operate our windfarms. We want to ensure these opportunities are accessible to local people.
"With this partnership and other initiatives we are putting in place, we are creating a journey for local young people to access our growing industry and develop the skills they need for a bright future."
Paul Drechsler CBE, CBI President and Chair of Teach First said: "We're delighted with this new partnership with DONG Energy which will have a major impact on young people in Grimsby, Hull and Merseyside, to develop the skills they will need for future employment and the teachers they need to inspire them in the classroom.
"By connecting schools with local businesses, and bringing the great teachers and leaders to these areas, we can help to address the disadvantage faced by these pupils to try to ensure that it does not determine their destiny."
Jane Nolan, Principal at OSPA, said: "We have been delighted to host this brilliant launch event, which we hope will bring plenty of opportunities, not only for OSPA pupils but for children across the region.
"We have been working hard at OSPA to ensure we deliver high-quality science and STEM-focused education, and it is fantastic that thanks to DONG Energy this extra support will be available to the local community."
About Teach First:
We believe that disadvantage should not determine destiny. Our vision is that no child's educational success should be limited by their socio-economic background.
Our charity invests in the power of people to change the lives of children from low income backgrounds by:
- finding and developing great people to teach and lead in schools facing the greatest challenges
- increasing the attainment and aspirations of pupils and their access to higher education and employment; and
- building a movement of teachers, school leaders, social entrepreneurs, policy makers and business people who are committed to ending educational inequality.
Since 2003, Teach First has placed 10,000 leaders in schools serving low-income communities, reaching over 1 million young people.