EDT, Developing the Young Workforce Dumfries and Galloway’s partner, have launched their ‘Industrial Cadets bronze programme’ – a 12 week #STEM project aimed at helping young people develop key skills for learning, life and work.

EDT has over 35 years’ experience supporting young people through industry-linked STEM activities, mapped to the Industrial Cadets accreditation framework. Industrial Cadets provides young people with employability skills and a nationally recognised award for STEM, developed in collaboration with a network of STEM employers.

Sponsored by both DYWDG and Community Windpower, the programme supports young people from both Moffat and Langholm, highlighting the importance of both towns’ roles in future renewable energy proposals. Each team will prepare a project based around the renewable industry and present in a regional competition, the winner of which will represent Dumfries and Galloway at a national final planned for later in the year.

“We are very keen to ensure that people are informed and prepared for the various opportunities this expanding sector is going to offer” says DYW DG Programme Manager, Justin Thomas.

“The potential for solid careers in the future is huge and working with EDT and Community Windpower on this project is an ideal way to introduce young people to a sector which will play a vital role in the lives of many in our region. We cannot thank Flora and the EDT team for working so hard over the last year to ensure that this exciting programme can work just as well virtually.”

Significant work has been done over the last year to allow this opportunity to work online whilst still encouraging team communication. The programme will involve:

  • Focusing on the “real-life” effects and applications of skills/knowledge, as well as further study/career paths
  • Encouraging young people to “see themselves” in STEM through a diverse selection of mentors
  • Exploring the wide range of different study/career pathways available, including apprenticeships, college and university; emphasising that there is no “wrong” option
  • Taking learning outside of the normal classroom context, focusing on hands-on and team-based activities, and challenging the distinction between “analytical” and “creative” subjects/skills

“Community Windpower are pleased to be taking part in this year’s Industrial Cadets bronze programme in Dumfries and Galloway” says Rebecca Elliott, Assistant Project manager for Community Windpower. “Having worked with both EDT and DYW DG in the past, we knew that this was the perfect project to get involved in. The project focuses on renewable energy and we are able to provide industry knowledge and insight to the students through the mentoring part of the programme. CWL believe it is important to work and share our knowledge with the younger generations, especially in the areas close to our developments, as there are so many green job opportunities in the renewable energy sector that the students may be interested in pursuing in the future.”

Community Windpower Ltd is at the forefront of wind energy development in the UK with over 1GW built, under construction and in development including sites near Langholm and Moffat, as well as further proposals within D&G. With business interests in D&G and experience in the identification, design, development, construction and operation of onshore wind farms and continuing support for DYW DG #workready projects, they were an ideal partner in this project. Several members of the CWL team have volunteered to act as the vital mentors for the young people during this project and all will be on hand when required to give business advise and encouragement.

EDT Industry Engagement Manager, Flora Lewis Gott said, “We are delighted to be working with DYW DG, Community Windpower, the Langholm Initiative and Moffat Academy DYW on this project. This is an exciting opportunity to engage young people with the Renewable Energy sector and introduce them to an exciting future of work in the local area. We are also excited as this is also the first time in 3 years that Dumfries and Galloway will have students representing the area in the National Industrial Cadet Bronze project.”