West Sussex Local Authorities and the Coastal West Sussex Partnership have secured a £418,000 grant through the West Sussex County’s Strategic Investment Fund for a project which aims to inspire and build confidence in both young people and adults to pursue studies and build careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts (creative and digital technologies) and maths (STEaM).

Caroline Wood, Director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, explains: “We are so excited to have secured this grant for the benefit of the whole county. The project has been developed in direct response to the needs of local businesses that are currently unable to recruit local talent with the right skills for the opportunities available.

“We recognise the financial challenges that schools are facing and part of our programme will offer more school-based activities to help build longer lasting and more productive relationships with local businesses.

“Our marketing campaign will help raise awareness of the breadth of career opportunities in West Sussex for those pursuing a career in STEaM. We want to encourage new collaborations and ultimately put West Sussex on the map for science and technology career opportunities.”

Continuing this, Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council, Natalie Brahma-Pearl, said: “On behalf of local authorities in the area, I am delighted we have secured this grant. The opportunities the funding will provide are invaluable and both students and businesses across the county will reap the rewards.”

The programme will evolve over the next two years and will include community-based events to inspire both young people and adults to pursue a STEaM career which today underpins many job opportunities, creating more work experience opportunities and working with local employers to encourage more active engagement with schools, colleges and universities.

The Coastal West Sussex Partnership is keen to engage more businesses and individuals with a passion for skills and development. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact caroline.wood@coastalwestsussex.org.uk.