A leading network provider has partnered with a Glasgow-based educational charity to boost the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Renfrewshire schools.

Edinburgh-headquartered Commsworld is working with SmartSTEMs, a not-for-profit which aims to inspire and develop the next generation of young Scots to pursue careers and skilled jobs in STEM industries.

The digital connectivity company will support the charity’s model, based around outreach to schools and clubs locally, as well as hub events that will be held in tertiary education establishments in the area.

The initiative kicked off last week, when P4 and P5 pupils at Howwood Primary School in Johnstone were visited by industry representatives who shared their love of all things STEM. The experts worked with pupils on an electric car project, as well as climate change posters inspired by Cop26.

The partnership is born out of Commsworld’s community support programme, delivered as part of its £15 million contract with Renfrewshire Council to upgrade its digital connectivity and services across the region.

This upgrade includes the rollout of full fibre connectivity to approximately 180 council buildings including schools and community centres.

Bruce Strang, chief operating officer at Commsworld, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SmartSTEMs to help inspire young Scots to learn about STEM. Digital is not just about connectivity and infrastructure, it is about having a skilled workforce with the passion to deliver the science and technology we need to help us live better lives.

“As we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we look forward to helping SmartSTEMs with its outreach programme in Renfrewshire so children and young people across the county are fully aware of the huge number of skilled jobs out there for those with a grounding in all things STEM.”

Stuart Macdonald, founder and chief executive of SmartSTEMs, said: “SmartSTEMs works across the UK to widen access to STEM careers and realise the full potential of future generations. We help industry and education to collaborate to develop the next generation of talent, and to create and maintain diverse and inclusive partnerships to deliver real social value and opportunity in the communities where we work.

“Our new partnership will help us develop a model in Renfrewshire that is scalable, replicable and delivered through our intertwined initiatives of hub events and outreach. We are delighted to work with Commsworld on this project and will be developing this programme with Commsworld over the coming weeks and months.”