YOUNG people and schools in the Peel Region will be beneficiaries of several new Alcoa Foundation partnerships, worth more than $1 million, set to start this year.
Raising the study aspirations of Peel high school students is the focus of a three-year partnership with the University of Western Australia.
The award-wining Aspire UWA program engages students, teachers and the community to promote the benefits of a university education. High schools in the Peel Region will be offered the program from 2016 to 2018.
Meanwhile Alcoa is continuing its longstanding relationship with Scitech with a new partnership to deliver the Alcoa Maths Enrichment Program (AMEP) to 12 primary schools in the Peel and upper South West.
A new partnership with GP Down South to fund the Peel Youth Medical Service will help deliver health services to more than 600 young people, aged 12 to 25, across Waroona, Pinjarra, Mandurah, Yarloop, South Yunderup and Dwellingup.
Alcoa of Australia chairman and managing director Michael Parker said the partnerships addressed important areas of community need in the Peel Region, particularly in developing the leaders and workforce of tomorrow.
“The number of young people in the region entering university is significantly lower than the State average,” he said.
“By offering Aspire UWA to Peel Region high schools we hope to demystify tertiary education and encourage more than 1500 students to aim to reach their full potential.”
Mr Parker added that as the global economy evolves, so do the skills that will be needed by students as they look to enter the workforce in the future.
“Australia is lagging when it comes to professionals qualified in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM),” he said.
“We need to spark an interest in these subjects early if we are going to create a strong pipeline of people pursuing STEM related professions.
“The Alcoa Maths Enrichment Program helps achieve this by developing the confidence of year four and five educators to teach maths.
The program will supply maths enrichment techniques to help teachers make maths more relevant and enjoyable for students.”
Greening Australia has also received a $500,000 Alcoa Foundation grant for works to be completed in 2016. This is the final instalment in an ambitious three-year partnership to plant one million trees in the Peel Harvey area adjacent to Alcoa’s Wagerup and Pinjarra refineries.