More than 1,000 students have visited London Gatwick’s STEM centre  (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) since it opened in October 2023.

The STEM centre, a bespoke space to engage and teach school children across the region about STEM and aviation, has hosted 47 school visits and counting. Activities on offer include water treatment, engineering rigs and creating solar power electric vehicles.

STEM is vital at London Gatwick with hundreds of career options available at the airport itself and the many partners who work together to keep the airport running.

More than 225 people also attended the STEM centre for careers and apprenticeship fairs to explore future job opportunities at the airport.

A National Apprenticeship Week event in February saw 120 students and jobseekers visit the STEM centre, with 11 different employers offering a range of apprenticeships, which has since seen people begin roles in engineering and retail.

Alison Addy, head of External Engagement and Policy, London Gatwick said: “It is fantastic to have reached this milestone of 1,000 engagements at the STEM centre and counting! The STEM centre is truly a space where you can learn and be inspired with a mix of theory and practical sessions on offer; there is something for everyone.

“The interest and feedback we’ve had from local schools and colleges has been the real evidence of the STEM centre’s success

“A diverse and skilled pipeline of local talent is critical to a healthy labour market and London Gatwick’s future growth. The STEM centre is at the heart of London Gatwick’s Employment, Skills and Business Strategy, which shapes the future direction of the airport’s work in developing opportunities for the region.”

Julian Sims, head of Careers, Oakwood School in Horley has visited the STEM centre with students several times.

He said: “The environment of the STEM centre is perfect. The London Gatwick team were polite, helpful and engaging with our students, bringing the airport working environment to life. The students really enjoyed the blend of theory and practical in the sessions.”

The STEM centre will also benefit from new resources including investment in Lego sets which enable students to use coding to build and control robots.

The STEM centre, situated landside at the airport, is part of a one-year pilot to test demand and gain feedback from students and schools to inform the airport’s longer-term STEM education and engagement plans under the Northern Runway Employment Skills and Business Strategy.  The space has classrooms, tablets and quiet areas, providing the opportunity for both theory and practical learning. There are also dedicated facilities for students with special educational needs.

London Gatwick is investing in its long-term future and its planning application to bring the airport’s existing Northern Runway into routine use, has now entered the examination phase with the Planning Inspectorate. This low-impact plan will improve resilience, reduce delays, and provide a significant boost to the national and regional economy by supporting trade, tourism, and new jobs.
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