GE Foundation’s Next Engineers: academy opens application window

After celebrating a successful first year, the application window is open for Year 11 students looking to join the next round of Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Academy.

Engineering Academy, part of the GE Foundation’s £2.5 million investment designed to attract over 3,500 Staffordshire students, with a focus on increasing the diversity of young people in engineering, is open to young people aged between 15-18.

In its first year, Engineering Academy reached students from across 27 Staffordshire schools. 24% were from minority backgrounds, and ~30% of total students identified as female, significantly higher than the female industry average of 16.5%.

The successful candidates will embark on a bespoke three-year education programme which will give them the opportunity to think and act like engineers, whilst equipping them with the core skills they’ll need to enter further education. Each student that completes the three-years will have the opportunity of receiving ~£7000 financial support to continue their studies in engineering.

The sessions, beginning in January 2023, will be based in Staffordshire University’s Stoke Campus and have been designed to integrate with each student’s existing studies. The bespoke programme is delivered by local community partner Connectr, and will provide immersive engineering design challenges, career coaching and workshops, and allow students exclusive access to some of GE’s sites. Not only this, but students will have exposure to industry-leading technology, equipment and expertise to further fuel their engineering ambition.

Emma Hitchman, Lead HR Partner at GE Renewable, commented on the first year: “It’s very exciting to see applications reopening for the Next Engineers: Engineering Academy programme. January will see the start for the next cohort of aspiring young people following in the successes of those last year. With so many challenges and changes in the world right now, this is a golden moment to enter engineering.

“Young engineers have the opportunity to change their world, play a part in helping solve things like the climate crisis or be involved in exciting new technologies no one has even thought of yet. And those careers can all start here with Next Engineers Staffordshire.”

Xanthe S, Next Engineers: Engineering Academy student commented on her first year experience: “The whole Next Engineers experience has been unforgettable. Although I was interested in a career in engineering before I started the course, it has definitely showed me the options available to me and reaffirmed my interested in the subject. It has also helped me realise how broad the word ‘engineer’ actually is.

“Everything we have done, from ‘mousetrap cars’ through to touring the University, has been unbelievable. I actually got to use electrolysis to create potable water from salt water. Plus, getting to meet people who have created technologies that are going to change the future is something I will never forget.”

The programme is open to students aged between 15-18, and Year 11 student applications must be submitted by 5th December 2022.