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Published on Monday, September 13, 2021

Virgin Atlantic supporting STEM education initiatives

Virgin Atlantic has vowed to contribute £2.5million over five years to support STEM initiatives via customer donations.

It will support science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiatives for young people.

STEM charity partners include Speakers for Schools, The Smallpeice Trust and UK for UNHCR.

The airline's community programme, Passport to Change, aims to increase young people's engagement with STEM and encourages skills needed for future careers.

 Support for STEM initiatives will come in the form of grants, sponsorships and investments through the Passport to Change programme.

Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said: "Our Passport to Change programme is how we at Virgin Atlantic use our business as a force for good, through our communities."

"We know there is a huge gender gap in STEM, and that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately impacted. By working with our new charity partners we can reach, educate and empower young people."

As part of the collaboration a year-long programme has been created to ensure young people from its three partner schools - Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley, Pentrehafod School in Swansea and Luther J Price Middle School in Atlanta, see the breadth of the aviation industry.

Across the ten months of the full programme, students will be engaged through a mixture of in-person and online events with modules showcasing what happens behind the scenes of an airline, how planes fly, as well as exploring sustainable aviation and decarbonisation.

Over time, the goal is to increase the network of partner schools across the UK and international communities.

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools added: "We are proud to partner with Virgin Atlantic for this first-of-its-kind immersive programme, allowing young people to experience every aspect of the aviation industry."

Virgin Atlantic says it will sponsor scholars in The Smallpeice Trust's Arkwright Scholarship programme and sponsor a short residential programme in 2022, which explores the world of STEM.

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