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Celebrating 30 years of inspiring young engineers: applications open for 2022 Arkwright Engineering Scholarships

11 October 2021

The search is on for the next generation of engineering talent, with applications now open for students to apply to the highly respected Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme. The fully sponsored Scholarship, part of children’s education charity, The Smallpeice Trust, aims to widen access and provide young people from all backgrounds with the chance to experience the exciting world of engineering.

Open to 16-year-old students across the UK, the Scholarship offers a two-year fully funded programme of practical experience across a range of sectors, from marine to civil and aerospace engineering. Through the programme, students get to work alongside and learn from real-life industry experts, such as CrowdStrike, McLaren Racing and the RAF, experiencing what it takes to be a pioneering engineer.

This year, the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship celebrates its 30th anniversary of improving opportunities and raising aspirations for young people in engineering.

Throughout the pandemic, we have witnessed the incredible value of engineers. From engineering firms creating essential PPE, to students like former Arkwright Engineering Scholar, Anoushka Patel, who started a global competition to find tech solutions for the Covid-19 crisis.

Despite the pressing need for talented and diverse engineers, 78 per cent of secondary school aged girls wouldn’t consider becoming an engineer in the future, and research from The Smallpeice Trust found that many parents see engineering as “too academic” for their children.

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme is working to break down the barriers and misconceptions preventing young people, particularly girls and students from underrepresented groups, from engaging with engineering, by providing them with the confidence, skills and real-world learning to thrive in STEM.

Arkwright Engineering Scholars benefit from a range of free enrichment opportunities to help them develop their unique interests, including:

  • A £600 financial bonus to fund technical or curriculum-based projects, the purchase of equipment and additional courses

  • Professional mentorship and networking opportunities with industry experts, providing practical advice and guidance with technical projects, further study and career pathways

  • Nationally recognised Scholarship certification to enhance university and apprenticeship applications

  • A £400 donation to schools of successful applicants, which they can utilise for STEM events and resources to benefit students.

The Scholarship encourages students to be creative and ambitious in their online application process, as they demonstrate their passion and engineering knowledge, which culminates in an interview at one of the UK’s leading universities for successful applicants.

Nicholas Field, Arkwright Engineering alumnus and student at the University of St. Andrews, said: “The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme provided a fantastic opportunity for me to experience engineering in action and learn from real-life industry experts, from the Nuclear AMRC in Sheffield to the Mondelez factory in Birmingham, where Cadbury chocolate is made. The experience certainly influenced my decision to study Chemistry at university and explore further how the different science and engineering disciplines intersect, to help me determine which specialism I may wish to explore as a future career.”

Dr Kevin P Stenson, CEO of The Smallpeice Trust, said: “It’s an honour to welcome students and schools to apply for the 2022 Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Programme. The 30th anniversary year of the programme provides a timely opportunity to celebrate the industry’s progress and achievements, whilst looking ahead to ways we can support the next generation of engineers and ensure a bright future ahead.

“The Scholarship gives students unique access and insights into the dynamic world of engineering, from working on Typhoon jets, and the coding that enables modern products, to getting stuck into the mechanics of making chocolate. Practical opportunities such as this are key to inspire and nurture young talent and help address the engineering shortage.”

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme is open to all Year 11 students in England and Wales, S4 students in Scotland and Year 12 students in Northern Ireland. If you are a school or student who would like to learn more about the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme, please visit: www.arkwright.org.uk