Newcastle United Foundation connect with technology partner Sage to boost STEM education through NU Futures

The world of work will become a new reality for schoolchildren, teenagers and young adults as Newcastle United Foundation prepares to provide simulated career experiences for the next generation.

The official charity arm of Newcastle United is introducing an innovative way of learning for youngsters alongside its official Technology Partner – Sage. Through £500,000 worth of funding from Sage, the Foundation will use virtual reality devices to let young people explore various roles and career paths available in the North East.

Set to be housed in purpose-built digital suites in the Foundation’s new home – NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society – the initiative will transform young people’s perspectives on their future and help them to develop valuable work skills during fun and immersive VR sessions.

Provision of dozens of virtual reality units, tablets, technology workshops and various STEM skills events for thousands of students in the area is being made possible by a new, multi-year partnership between Newcastle United Foundation and Sage.

We are proud to be leading the way for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technology and digital experts of the future

- Sarah Medcalf, Deputy Head of Newcastle United Foundation

Newcastle United Foundation Trustee Shola Ameobi was on hand to help official launch the exciting collaboration with the global brand, headquartered in North Tyneside. Sage’s generous funding will boost the region’s young people through the Foundation as part of its innovative NU Futures programme.

Sarah Medcalf, Deputy Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that Sage have agreed to become our first ever Technology Partner, helping us transform the way school children and young people transition from education to careers as part of our NU Futures programme.

“Together, we will introduce young people to career possibilities in the technology sector, through mentoring, personal development and innovative virtual reality scenarios in a growing number of STEM roles available across the region.

“Sage will also be our lead partner for an annual STEM event held at NUCASTLE attended by over 2,000 school children.

“Supporting the next generation to explore skilled careers in a purpose-built facility on their doorstep is key and we are proud to be leading the way for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technology and digital experts of the future.”

NUCASTLE is set to open its doors to the public in March 2022 and will attract 100,000 visitors annually who can access a spectacular 3G rooftop pitch, smart fitness suite, sports hall and accessible changing areas, event, and meeting spaces.

We want to inspire and support more young people to develop STEM skills, and together with Newcastle United Foundation, we will help tackle this challenge

- Paul Struthers, MD UKI at Sage

In July, Newcastle United Foundation is supporting STEMFest Net Zero – an interactive face-to-face and virtual hybrid event showcasing businesses from across the region, their response to Climate Change and their plans to reach Net Zero by 2030.

More than 3,000 young people from the region’s schools will be invited to attend the hands-on event where they will meet and engage with a number of North East industries in the sector.

And as official Technology Partners of the charity, Sage aim to provide technological support to disadvantaged and disengaged youths, boosting their ambition, confidence, and motivation to achieve.

The partnership will also facilitate annual opportunities for up to five young people to kickstart their careers with Sage via apprenticeships or full-time job roles.

Paul Struthers, MD UKI, Sage, said: “Whether you want to start your own business or play a role in one, digital skills are essential to business success.

“With rapidly accelerating demand for data and AI applications over the next few years, the region needs to ensure it has a diverse talent pool to meet business’ growing digital need.

“Key to this is addressing the digital skills gap to empower people to join and build the businesses of the future. We want to inspire and support more young people to develop STEM skills, and together with Newcastle United Foundation, we will help tackle this challenge.

“As a UK global tech company headquartered in the North East, we are dedicated, to unlocking and showcasing the extraordinary potential of the region and its young people – the North East tech sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK and we need to ensure that a strong pipeline of talent is ready to support this growth.”

Sage recently launched Knocking Down Barriers, an initiative tackling societal and economic inequality and supporting a new generation of diverse and sustainable businesses by eliminating obstacles standing in people’s way.

Their pledge provides business mentoring, advice, and support for more than 1.2 million people from underrepresented groups around the world and commits to being net zero by 2040.

Alternatively, to find out more about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for regular news and updates.

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