Smiths encourage study

The Smiths Group has launched a new education initiative in Watford to encourage students to study technology subjects.

The Smiths Technology Education Programme (STEP), which is being run in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Engineering and the EDT (Engineering Development Trust), aims to provide able young people from a wide range of backgrounds with the information and support they need to explore a career in technology.

Statistics show that the number of graduates entering engineering careers in the UK is declining. Furthermore, some groups such as women, and students from certain ethnic minorities, are under-represented.

CBI Director-General Richard Lambert recently commented on the growing skills shortage in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As part of a five point action plan to help tackle this issue, Mr. Lambert suggested that students should be offered £1,000 per year to study these subjects at university.

Smiths is seeking to help address the skills shortage through STEP – a programme that is in line with Mr. Lambert’s plan.

There are two parts to the STEP programme.

First, 20 bright students per year from diverse backgrounds who are studying maths and science at A-level will be offered bursaries, provided by Smiths, towards their part of the cost of attending an EDT Headstart course, where they will spend up to a week at a UK university exploring engineering and science prior to making their university applications.

Secondly, after they have completed the course, five of the Headstart alumni that choose to study an engineering-related degree at university will each be offered a Smiths Technology Award of £1,000 per year for a minimum of three years to help with the cost of their degrees.

The bursaries will be administered by the Royal Academy of Engineering.