General Electric (GE) is launching a five-year, $3.5 million (£2.5m) initiative in the UK, called Next Engineers, to increase the diversity of young people entering engineering. The UK programme will be based in Staffordshire, where GE operates three sites that design, develop and service products used throughout the power and renewable energy industries.
Next Engineers aims to inspire more than 3,500 local students aged 13-18, providing first-hand experiences of engineering, and awarding financial support to pursue further education in engineering.
“Our growing global economy will require more engineers to solve society’s most pressing challenges – from clean energy to quality healthcare and more sustainable flight. Next Engineers will provide a platform for Staffordshire’s young people from different backgrounds to bring their unique perspectives to engineering and help address these important issues, enthusing and introducing them to the hands-on learning experiences they will need to pursue engineering careers,” said Kevin O’Neill, President & CEO, GE UK.
Next Engineers is a signature programme of the GE Foundation, an independent charitable organisation funded by GE. The GE Foundation is partnering with MyKindaFuture, the UK’s leading HR tech company specialising in engaging and onboarding underrepresented talent, to implement Next Engineers in the UK.
Next Engineers will offer one-hour sessions and hands-on activities for the youngest (Year 9) students. Weeklong Engineering Camps will be run during the school holidays for those in Year 10. There will also be an Engineering Academy providing three-years of out of school coaching for Year 11-13 students. Those accepted onto engineering apprenticeships or engineering degrees will also receive a funding contribution from the GE Foundation.
Students in Staffordshire wanting to apply for the Engineering Academy, or teachers wanting to know more about how the Next Engineers programme can benefit them, their students and their schools, should visit www.nextengineers.org to learn more.
The Staffordshire investment is part of a $100 million, long-term, international Next Engineers programme which GE Foundation unveiled earlier this year, designed to reach more than 85,000 students across 25 locations globally over the next decade.