Accenture, in partnership with DCU and the 30pc Club, has launched a new internship programme for trainee teachers to allow them to better understand science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects so they can pass on that knowledge to their future students.

This is a first-of-its-kind internship programme, specially designed to give trainee teachers hands-on industry experience of working in a STEM role for three months, full-time.

Partnering with the 30pc Club to develop an industry response to this challenge, Accenture designed the paid internship programme to allow trainee teachers to take up positions as summer interns within the company’s technology practice, working on real-life client projects, as well as in Accenture’s recently-established Centre for Innovation.

The decision to run the programme comes following Accenture Ireland’s and Silicon Republic’s joint 2014 and 2015 reports, which showed that while the vast majority of girls appreciate that STEM subjects create a lot of career opportunities, stereotypes persist, and a high proportion of girls believe that the subjects are too difficult and better suited to boys.

Accenture Ireland and DCU said that, pending the successful completion of the pilot, there is potential for this curriculum to be rolled out to the broader education faculty in DCU and other education institutions and host companies.

“The objective of this programme is to provide teachers with hands-on industry experience in the sector so that they’re better positioned to provide guidance, encouragement and bring their experience to life in the classroom,” said Paula Neary, a managing director in Accenture and sponsor of the STEM programme.

Words by Colm Gorey