Dunbia has taken part in a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) conference organised by the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) and the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB).
The event was attended by 70 STEM and Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) post primary teachers from the NEELB area.
The promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics continues to be a priority for the Northern Ireland Government as it is predicted that it is from these areas that the skills for future workforces will be required, and as such funding has been made available by the Department of Education to prioritise work in these areas.
The STEM conference gave teachers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the vocational and academic needs of industry on a practical level by networking with employers from 25 businesses who require a workforce with STEM qualifications, and to also partake in site visits to five STEM employers in the Ballymena area.
The conference was opened by Aidan McCormick, Education Adviser SELB and presentations followed by Michelle Fulton, BELB and Jayne FitzGerald SELB.
Commenting on the possible career opportunities and pathways within STEM Aidan McCormick, SELB said; “The conference is about raising awareness of STEM related subjects and the role that these play within our society and economy, in order to encourage young people to consider STEM related areas as career opportunities. Teachers play a key role in making the connections between the curriculum and the world of work to facilitate quality 11-19 education and quality Career Education, Careers Information and Careers Guidance in all our schools”.
Dunbia attended the conference and then hosted a visit to the Ballymena site for 14 careers advisors. Speaking during the visit to Ballymena, Chris Quigg, Managing Director, Dunbia Pork Division, Ballymena commented: “We were delighted to welcome careers teachers to Dunbia Ballymena to let them see our operation and the employment opportunities which we can offer. The importance of the STEM subjects cannot be over-stated for a company like Dunbia. As a company with over 4000 employees in 13 sites across the UK and Ireland, we employ people in every discipline including food science, engineering, finance, production, sales, environmental management, agricultural research. In every area the STEM subjects are crucial. We hope that our involvement in the STEM conference will help teachers reinforce this message to students planning out their future careers.”
Dunbia is participating in a further STEM conference in Omagh in March.