Promoting degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics amongst young students Published on 29/03/2017
The Orienta-T initiative developed by the Junior Achievement Spain Foundation, with support from Ferrovial, Zurich Insurance, Endesa, HP and Pfizer, was presented at the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid on Wednesday, 29th March. The aim of this project is to promote the uptake of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees amongst students aged between 14 and 16 and secondary education teachers through a series of events in five Spanish cities.
The event for the launch of the initiative was attended by Mario Garcés, Spain’s Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality. Throughout the day, students heard the personal stories of experts in digital transformation, cutting edge technologies and leadership. The event also hosted a roundtable on the role of women in STEM, with Blanca Narváez, director of the Junior Achievement Spain Foundation, as moderator and the participation of top female executives such as Elena Balletbo, Human Resources Talent Acquisition at Zurich Insurance, Virginia Ocio de la Fuente, Endesa’s head of New Initiatives within the Sustainability Division, Mª Teresa Pulido, Ferrovial’s Director of Corporate Strategy and member of the Management Committee, and Susana de Pablo García, Dispatching Manager at Enegas.
Orienta-T and STEM degrees
According to a report published by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), demand for STEM jobs within the European Union will be 14% in 2020, whereas the number of university enrolments in these subjects has fallen by 25% in Europe and 40% in Spain in recent years.
The purpose of the Orienta-T programme is to create a space for professional guidance regarding STEM degrees, through the staging of a series of events in five Spanish cities. These events, targeted at students in their 3rd year of secondary education and their teachers, will highlight inspiring stories, both personal and professional, of volunteers from different companies, and offer practical workshops in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The aim is to provide employment guidance and increase student motivation for these professions, through various inspirational stories. Students will be able to attend practical workshops imparted by experts in the relevant fields and focusing on self-knowledge and decision-making. For secondary teachers, these events will provide an opportunity to meet with other teachers and guidance experts and analyse what tools are available, issues they face, and possible solutions. Teachers will thus acquire educational materials that they can use in their respective schools and further boost the multiplier effect of the initiative. Each event will also host a round table which will debate the role of women in particular, their leadership in the professional sector and their participation in STEM disciplines.
The second of the Orienta-T events will take place in Valencia on 6th April, to be followed by Avilés, Barcelona and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 5th, 11th and 19th May, respectively.
About the Junior Achievement Foundation
Junior Achievement is one of the largest non-profit international organisations in the world working on entrepreneurial and financial education with a focus on employment guidance. It delivers business education programmes in 122 countries and 30 languages, reaching more than 10.5 million young people every year. Junior Achievement is active in Spain since 2001, working to boost the talent of young people and provide them with the skills they need for a successful transition to the labour market.
It currently works with state schools, privately-owned state-funded schools, and private schools, with the support of a large number of companies and institutions. In the school year 20015/2016, Junior Achievement Spain delivered a total of 2,658 programmes, reaching 31,068 students throughout Spain, with the help of 2,666 volunteers.
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