SWAINSHILL based oak frame designers and manufacturers Oakwright's have linked up with Almeley Primary School in the first collaboration of NMiTE Connect, the brainchild of the team behind the new university in Hereford. The aim is to get children, particularly at an early age, to see the fun and benefit that can be had with, and from, STEM subjects.

The initiative to link schools and businesses, and to support teachers and students in the learning of STEM subjects, is an integral part of the work of NMiTE. Encouraging the young in STEM subjects is vital for the long term prosperity, not only of Herefordshire, but also the country. In the UK alone it is estimated that there will be a shortfall of around 200,000 qualified engineers by 2020.

Going forward, Oakwrights and Almeley have agreed to make their liaison 'curriculum' based. Starting this term, pupils from Almeley will visit Oakwrights and get an insight into their business, how things are made and how ideas come about. In return, Oakwrights will hold an assembly at Almeley and highlight the history of their company.

Janet Baker, a volunteer for NMiTE, and the architect of the tie up, said: "NMITE is committed to being at the forefront of producing the next generation of skilled engineers. Working with schools is an important plank of our activity and I am delighted to have brokered this partnership - it is the first of many I hope."