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Chaired by Nick Gibbs, the STEM Forum represents members across all disciplines. The Forum meets on the third Thursday every two months.

About the Forum

Our aim is to support Chamber members and the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) businesses on the Isle of Man by providing the voice of industry into Government and associated bodies. We have established sub-committee working groups to tackle the common themes that have been identified from member surveys.

Strategic Priorities and Objectives

• To Proactively Grow the Sector
• To seek to influence the Isle of Man Government to ensure the right environment (including legislation, regulation and policy) is in place to support the continued growth of the existing STEM sector and to encourage new inward investment, supporting and challenging the Business Agency where appropriate
• Add value to the STEM Forum Network
• To collaborate with key stakeholders (businesses, government, Isle of Man residents) on STEM related matters to provide chamber members with insights, products and services that strengthen our local business community.
• To promote innovation within STEM-related businesses to improve their resilience to market changes and support their future growth through cross-sector engagement.
• Continue to tackle skills shortages
• To lobby, educate and influence the Isle of Man Government on the latest STEM skills requirements and to support initiatives to address these skills shortage, such as ACE.
• Support Government in the development of a robust STEM strategy that positions the island for success
• To highlight and promote the importance of the STEM Sector to the Government, notably how it can help the Isle of Man compete on a world stage

The forum achieves these objectives by working with other Chamber forums and a number of sub-groups, plus by engaging in:

• Monitoring proposed legislation changes
• Raising the profile of the IoM STEM sector through media, newsletters and events
• Discussing topical subjects relevant to member companies
• Sharing best practice on matters such as Health & Safety and Environmental issues
• Community engagement, including participating in consultations
• Government lobbying and advocacy

Educations, Skills Careers Sub-Committee
This group is focused on increasing skills availability for engineering and manufacturing businesses on the island. The group has established the ACE programme, (Awareness of Careers in Engineering), which aims to raise awareness within schools and the college that engineering represents a real and highly valued career opportunity on the Isle of Man. We have enrolled industry volunteers and have sponsorship and funding from participating companies and Government. The volunteers animate IoM engineering and manufacturing through classroom workshops and fly the flag for Chamber and our sector at exhibitions, careers events, competitions and parents’ evenings.

In addition, a key project of the group was to focus on delivering an intensive fast track ‘apprenticeship’ scheme for developing manufacturing skills. This is a joint initiative between manufacturers, UCM, DfE and DESC. Details of this course and many other engineering courses can be found on the UCM website. The funding for this flag-ship apprentice development programme and its AMTC facility (Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre) was created as a direct result of collaboration between Chamber and Government.

The steering group members for ACE are currently: Mel Beattie (Chair) David Hester, Nick Gibbs, Iain Cowley, John Christian, Nick Onyemem, Andrew Sherry, Kirree Gooberman (representing DfE) plus representatives from UCM.

Related Groups

Business Sustainability Groups (IoM Chamber)

This group assists local business in achieving net zero emissions. Nick Gibbs sits on this forum and keeps the STEM Forum informed.

Commercial and Industrial Waste Forum (DEFA)

This group was initially formed as a joint initiative between the DoI and the E&M committee (now STEM) but now includes other sectors. It is focused on ensuring that the island provides an appropriate infrastructure for handling of waste. A particular focus has been the disposal of hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is a by-product for many industry and commercial organisations on the Isle of Man for which limited disposal routes are available at high cost to the businesses that produce it. The sub-committee is currently driving projects to maintain and improve a regular and reliable hazardous waste disposal service. The meeting is typically attended by representatives from DoI, DEFA, DfE, MUA, SUEZ, and other companies.

Learn more

Learn more about our other Sector Forums and Working Groups here