“We’ve loved this week!  It’s shown us that engineering isn’t just for men; it’s for everyone!”  

Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Experience 2023 was a huge success and The Inspirational Learning Group reflect on the fortnight’s highlights.

On Monday 24th July, over 100 aspiring engineers from Staffordshire arrived for their first day at Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Experience and were met by The Inspirational Learning Group’s (TILG) facilitation team who were raring to go!  The young people were about to embark on a jam-packed week that would see them shaping their identities as engineers of the future.

Over the next fortnight, 2 cohorts of 100 students worked in teams to utilise their “Engineering Habits of Mind” through the completion of real-life engineering projects such as “Save The Water” challenge, building a fully-functioning hydraulic arm and the formidable “Trebuchet” challenge – a challenge that stumped even TILG’’s office team when they trialled the challenge prior the fortnight!

In addition to the challenges, our young people also visited Staffordshire University and the General Electric sites in Stafford and Redhill,  enabling them to experience firsthand the opportunities that are available to them within the engineering industry.

Our aspiring engineers also had the opportunity to showcase their projects and hard work to over 150 family members, friends and business guests at a showcase event each Friday afternoon.  The attendance at these showcase events demonstrated the support and buy-in from each of our engineer’s nearest and dearest who demonstrated their passion for engineering through engaging presentations to our audience & we couldn’t be prouder of them! 

Paul Dyer, TILG’s General Manager said, “The enthusiasm and interest shown by students in the Staffordshire area for GE Foundation’s Next Engineers initiative is truly remarkable. With over 420 students applying for just 200 places, it is clear that there is a strong desire to learn and develop the skills necessary for the future. Being selected as the implementing partner for this global initiative is a privilege, as it allows us the opportunity to work with GE Foundation in bridging the skills gap and preparing young people for careers in engineering. The commitment GE has shown towards giving back to the community is commendable and sets a benchmark for other companies to follow. By providing young people with the resources, mentorship, and training needed to succeed in the engineering field, GE is ensuring that the Staffordshire area has a strong pipeline of talent for the future. This initiative not only benefits the students involved but also contributes to the growth and development of the local economy. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the lives of the students and the community as a whole”.

Don’t just take our word for it, we asked our young people and parents to share their thoughts about their Engineering Experience:

Fantastic week and my son enjoyed every minute.  Thank you to all your team for giving him such a wonderful and memorable experience” – Parent

“We bent the rules a bit with the challenges, but isn’t that what an engineer does? We’ve thought differently about each task, and we’ve kept going despite our mistakes!” – Cohort 1 team

“We discovered that being enthusiastic and learning from mistakes is an important part of engineering!” – Cohort 2 team

TILG’s attention has now moved over to recruiting for Cohort 3 of Academy which will see students (ages 15 to 18) learn to think and act like engineers and prepare to advance to post-secondary education. .  The team cannot wait to meet even more aspiring engineers and working with them over the next academic year enabling them to recognise their potential within the engineering industry! To learn more about this fantastic opportunity, do not hesitate to contact nextengineers@tilg.co.uk.

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