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North Wales businesses encouraged to safeguard skills in STEM

A Wrexham-based charity is calling on companies to create positive community impact by breaking down barriers for youngsters to engage with STEM.
Xplore! Science Discovery Centre is urging businesses to help boost children’s access to science, technology, engineering, and maths as part of a long-term investment into skills for the next generation.
The organisation aims to communicate both established and innovative technologies and research through interactive public shows, workshops, and exhibits, as well as outreach events for schools and groups in North Wales.
With environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting becoming increasingly integral to a company’s activity, and in some cases mandatory, the charity has seen a rise in initiatives looking to deliver local benefits on a larger scale.
To ensure this support is impactful, the centre is asking brands to collaborate with community engagement partners so they provide the help needed to make a difference.
Xplore!’s business development officer Katie Williams said: “With a growing emphasis on the ‘social’ strand of ESG, firms are often expected to give back to the areas they operate within.
“It can be hard for them to know what will be most beneficial to their local area, especially when it involves supporting young people, so it’s essential to listen to the needs of those who directly connect with these audiences.
“Partnerships are vital for us, whether it be a brand funding the maintenance of an existing exhibit, educational trips to the centre, or helping create an entirely new workshop for children or community groups to learn from.
“In addition, with rising costs for schools, subsidising visits and coach travel not only enriches their classroom education but sparks passion in STEM from a young age, potentially inspiring future employment in these industries.”
The organisation has previously engaged with global biopharmaceutical firm Ipsen to host fully funded sessions which replicated experiments at its Wrexham lab, with the company sending volunteers to assist year five and six pupils.
Xplore! also partnered with the Principality Building Society to boost financial literacy in primary students and Wrexham County Council to encourage green skills through the sponsorship of a decarbonisation workshop.
Katie added: “Our team have been crafting science engagement activities for more than two decades, so is fully equipped to help guide businesses in their social value work.
“These partnerships play a crucial part in ramping up access to STEM in the region as it allows children to see their learning come to life, as well as igniting interest in new technologies and low carbon industries, which are vital for the UK economy.”