Full STEAM ahead – new plan launched to develop diverse talent pipeline and boost opportunities for young people

Today (Friday 3 March), Camden Council launched a new strategy to scale up its successful STEAM programme and create more opportunities for young people to access the borough’s leading tech, scientific, and creative industries.

The new strategy, which was officially launched at the Google HQ in King’s Cross by the Leader of the Council Councillor Georgia Gould, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, STEAM Chair Dinah Caine CBE, Google Vice President, Cait O’Riordan, and STEAM board members, aims to raise awareness of the STEAM industries in Camden, create more pathways for young people to enter and succeed in a STEAM career and engage more young people from underrepresented backgrounds in STEAM training and opportunities.

The audience also heard from Danielle Tobin, Director of STEAM & Partnerships, Camden Learning, and a panel including Jade Chau, Associate and Architect, Bennetts Associates; Jai Clarke-Binns, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, DeepMind; Sarah Creasey, Headteacher, Parliament Hill School; Phil McCormack, Director of Participation, Donmar Warehouse and Irfath Islam  who is a Year 13 student at the UCL Academy.

Camden’s STEAM programme works with the borough’s sixty schools and colleges, hundreds of employers and thousands of young people, creating opportunities for young people to gain the skills needed to get a career in the borough’s tech, scientific, and creative sectors.

So far, young people aged 4 to 18 across Camden’s primary and secondary schools and colleges have benefited from the programme. Highlights include 450 work experience opportunities for Year 12 students at local employers such as Google, Argent, Lendlease and Central Saint Martins where students took part in workshops on leadership, teamwork and presentation skills; a STEAM Hub teacher network involving 35 schools; a network of over 200 trained STEAM Ambassadors volunteering in schools, from architects and software engineers to designers and scientists carrying out mock interviews with sixth formers; and initiatives led by employers including Ted Baker, Meta and DeepMind.

The new strategy, which was developed by a board of leading STEAM employers in the borough, plus headteachers and Camden councillors, focuses on scaling up key initiatives including work experience, apprenticeships, and employer talks in schools.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

I am proud to lead a borough at the heart of London’s thriving economy. Camden is the home of innovation, where we host a range of world-leading organisations across the creative, scientific, and digital industries.

As we come out of the pandemic and build back stronger, we are even more determined that all the young people growing up in Camden, regardless of background, have access to the very best opportunities that this borough has to offer to help them in future life. This new STEAM strategy will help us to achieve that and ensure we are an emblem of inclusive growth at the heart of London.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
Dinah Caine CBE, Chair of Camden STEAM

This is a pivotal moment for Camden STEAM. It was borne from a conviction that young people growing up in Camden, regardless of background, should have access to the very best opportunities in the world-leading sectors on their doorstep and that these employers and institutions have a pipeline of diverse local talent.

This new strategy sets out our vision for close partnerships between employers, educators and young people, working together for a future where our scientific, creative and digital industries continue to innovate and flourish, providing opportunities for Camden’s young people to have fulfilling careers.

Dinah Caine CBE, Chair of Camden STEAM
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

I applaud this new strategy, which will do so much to encourage young people to gain skills and seek opportunities in the creative, digital and scientific industries.

My London Careers Hubs are helping young Londoners understand the careers pathways available to them. I encourage employers and schools to work collaboratively, to embed careers in their curriculum and support talented young Londoners into the jobs of the future, and it’s great to see this approach centred in the strategy launching today. Together we can all help build a better, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
Sarah Creasey, Headteacher of Parliament Hill School and STEAM Board member

Through the Camden STEAM programme, students at Parliament Hill have benefited from fantastic opportunities to gain first-hand experience of Camden’s vibrant scientific, creative and digital sectors. 

Programmes such as work experience have a significant impact on young people’s futures so I’m delighted the new STEAM strategy focuses on scaling up high-impact activities like this, and I look forward to seeing even more employers and young people across Camden taking part.

Sarah Creasey, Headteacher of Parliament Hill School and STEAM Board member

Local employers sign up to the Camden STEAM Pledge and commit to a range of initiatives. The STEAM team support employers by connecting them into schools, training staff and co-designing high-quality programmes.

Over 50 employers have signed the Pledge and over 200 STEAM Ambassadors have been trained – and Camden is calling on more local employers, from small businesses to global firms, to sign up and support local young people.