Two promising young engineers will be supported through their studies and early career stages after becoming the first cohort of a pioneering student employment scheme.
React Engineering, based in Cumbria, recently launched its React Futures programme to provide financial and professional support for young people to kickstart their careers within the engineering sector by helping them through university and offering them their first full-time jobs.
Students Imi Tait, 22, and James Mattinson, 21, are the first two members to be offered a place on the scheme and both will receive a salary to support them during their final year at university, with a career at React guaranteed on completion of their studies.
Aerospace Engineering student Imi has spent the past year on an Industrial Placement at React and will return to her studies at Nottingham University in September, ahead of commencing her employment with the company in 2023.
She said: “When I arrived at React Engineering last year, I felt like I was a pretty naive university student, but with the support from the team I feel like I’ll return to my last year at university as a much more independent and confident person.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at React so far. It’s been challenging but I have learned a lot and already made so many great friends
“For me, this is a fantastic opportunity which will have a huge bearing on the rest of my life, both personally and professionally, and being offered a job at the end of my degree is a massive weight off my shoulders and will allow me to concentrate fully on my studies.”
James is no stranger to React after he was awarded a bursary from the React Foundation charity to encourage the study of STEM subjects at A-Level.
His connection to React was rekindled when he participated in a paid 12-week summer placement last year, something which he repeated this summer.
James is due to complete his Chemical and Process Engineering with Energy Engineering degree from Leeds University this year, and on completion he will work at React as a consultant engineer.
He said: “I have always been impressed with React’s ethos of investing in young people and inspiring them to get involved in engineering while highlighting the many fantastic employment opportunities which exist on our doorstep to prevent them having to move out of the area to land these jobs.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities they have given me and being on the React Futures scheme will be a huge benefit to my career and my future development. The learning doesn’t stop when you get the job at React and I’m excited about the further opportunities to develop my skills at such a supportive company.”
React Futures is a programme devised to provide financial and professional development support to young people with the aim of accelerating the achievement of their potential, enabling the sector to benefit from the vibrancy and creativity of young people with the skills and technical capability to make a difference, whilst also supporting the individual achieve their professional goals, such as Chartered status in their chosen field.
It is also targeted at sixth form leavers planning to go to university with the following benefits: a year working at the company before heading to university; an attractive salary throughout their study years; work experience during summer holidays; a full-time job after graduation; continuous professional development.
React’s managing director Phil Redfern said: “We take great pride in investing in young people and developing them every step of the way to ensure they get the most from their studies and subsequently their profession.
“Imi and James have both impressed considerably with their enthusiasm and incredible knowledge of the industry, and it is an absolute pleasure that we are able to develop their skills and help them reach their obvious potential.”