Dragon LNG from Milford Haven is celebrating after being shortlisted for the UK’s longest running and most prestigious awards programme, championing responsible business in the UK and abroad.
Now in its 20th year, the Awards champion the most inspiring businesses who are making a difference by taking action to build more inclusive workplaces, stronger communities and tackle our biggest environmental challenges.
Today’s announcement coincides with Responsible Business Week (24-28 April), an annual initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the positive contribution of businesses to society.
Dragon LNG has been shortlisted for the UBS – UK Education Award recognising The Dragon LNG Darwin Experience (DLNGDE).
Teaming up with the Darwin Centre – a local charity with a proven track record in STEM engagement in 2005, Dragon LNG wants to get students passionate about Science,Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and role model STEM learning for future generations.
DLNGDE delivers free fieldtrips and workshops on themes from energy production and marine litter to rocky shore studies and river sampling. The key aim is to engage pupils – particularly those from deprived backgrounds – and increase aspiration in STEM. The programme continues to be extremely successful, delivering some 150 events per year and inspiring over 35,000 pupils since 2005.
“The bottom line is strengthening long term relationships with our community and developing future generations. This flagship project makes Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths exciting to young people, encouraging and inspiring them into STEM careers through apprenticeships or further and higher education; says Karen Wood, PR Manager.
Dragon LNG receives consistently outstanding feedback from schools, Local Education Authority, Pembrokeshire College and the young people involved. Dragon LNG’s own teams and families participate in at least one session per year, increasing pride in the programme and supporting community involvement.
But most of all, it’s having a genuine impact in this part of Wales, says Maria Pena, Managing Director, Dragon LNG:
“Having engaged with over 35,000 young people in a rural deprived County, our team has witnessed enthusiasm, excitement and aspiration around STEM fieldtrips and workshops.”
And the effects continue several years after pupils have experienced the programme – a 2015 survey of ‘A’ level students shows that it increased desire to study STEM further and impacted career direction.
“Fostering a passion for STEM ultimately leads to stronger industrial skillsets in the region,” says Pena.
“This is a long-term benefit of the project which directly impacts Dragon LNG, in terms of becoming a future employer of choice.” And increasing the pool of talent supports Dragon LNG’s aim to recruit locally – now 150 people on average apply for each Dragon LNG STEM job, which it believes is in part thanks to a raised profile from the programme.
As well as the other numerous annual initiatives Dragon undertakes with the community, no wonder a new three-year contract for the DLNGDE programme was signed in January 2017, resulting in Dragon’s total long term commitment and total investment in developing STEM education for children in Pembrokeshire. The current tranche of the programme aims to raise year 6 pupils’ attainment of aspirational science levels by 20%, whilst assisting development of the new Welsh curriculum.
Chief Executive of Business in the Community, Amanda Mackenzie, said;
“We want all businesses to be a force for good in the community, and being shortlisted means that Dragong LNG can inspire many more companies to be part of the responsible business movement, so that together we can work for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”
The winners of all ten categories, including the Responsible Business of the Year will be announced at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 July, in front of 1,200 business leaders. The headline sponsors of the 2017 Responsible Business Awards are Experian, Unilever, UPS, Aviva, Barclays, Fujistu, UBS, Unipart Group.
To find out more about Responsible Business Week 2017 visit www.bitc.org.uk/rbweek or search for the hashtag #RBweek.