General Electric has announced a five-year, £2.5 million investment deal in the UK as part of its global ‘Next Engineers’ programme.
The programme, which operates in various countries across the globe, is designed to foster the next generation of talent in the engineering sector. General Electric hopes to inspire more than 3,500 students in the UK aged 13-18 to pursue a career in engineering.
Students who want to take part in the ‘Next Engineers’ programme will get first-hand experience of engineering at General Electric’s three Staffordshire sites, where it designs, develops and services products used throughout the power and renewable energy industries.
In addition to the hands-on experience, General Electric will also be awarding financial support to pursue further education in engineering.
Kevin O’Neill, President & CEO, General Electric UK, commented, “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.”
Staffordshire is one of four global locations so far announced by GE, joining Johannesburg, South Africa, along with Cincinnati and Greenville in the United States.
Theo Clarke, the Member of Parliament for Stafford, said, “Having an initiative like Next Engineers coming to our community is fantastic for young people locally. We were already fortunate to have a top global employer like GE in the region, but local students now have the opportunity to explore viable engineering careers that they had previously thought were unattainable. It really is an amazing opportunity for our young people.
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.