Musician and philanthropist will.i.am has launched a new Prince’s Trust scheme to engage disadvantaged young people with technology and science, following his £500,000 donation to The Trust in 2012.
The Black Eyed Peas frontman visited the Science Museum in London to launch The Prince’s Trust workshops, which will be run in partnership with the Science Museum in schools across the country.
The new partnership will see Science Museum outreach staff visiting Prince’s Trust xl clubs in schools across the country to deliver Launchbox workshops aimed at inspiring and engaging 13-19 year olds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The Prince’s Trust’s xl clubs help young people struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
The launch of the workshops comes ahead of a Prince’s Trust report to be released tomorrow revealing a lack of digital skills among the younger generation. The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI, shows a quarter of unemployed young people (24%) “dread” filling in online job applications and one in ten (11%) admit they avoid using computers.
will.i.am said: “Inspiring young people through science and technology is a powerful tool and I am proud to see my donation to The Prince’s Trust being put into action to help engage disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have access to technology and science education.”
He continued, “These workshops are an amazing way to engage disadvantaged youngsters who don’t have this sort of access to technology and science otherwise.
“Today I have met with young people who are being supported by The Trust to improve their digital skills or seek to make their living through STEM related subjects.
“Through this new initiative, we will connect many more disadvantaged youngsters to the worlds of computing, and science and technology.”
Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust said: “We work with the hardest-to-reach pupils, who may not have access to a computer at home and often don’t have basic IT skills. The Trust is using will.i.am’s generous donation to engage these young people in science and technology while they’re still at school.”
She continued, “We’re also giving young people more access to IT to support them into work and helping more unemployed young people set up technology-related businesses. The donation from will.i.am is transforming how we help young people in all these areas.”
Toby Parkin, Outreach and Resources Manager, from the Science Museum said: “We know the importance of making science exciting and accessible to everyone. Our initiative with The Prince’s Trust aims to encourage youngsters who may not have considered science and technology as a possible career path. The workshops will span the country across 2013 and see many more young people experimenting with technology and science.”
will.i.am met with HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Trust president, last year, to discuss his support for disadvantaged young people at The Trust with funding from his i.am angel foundation.