Engineering Association Awards Young Engineers on their Journey to Engineering

Barrow & District Association of Engineers Event
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Barrow and District Association of Engineers presented bursaries and prizes to primary aged pupils for the first time at a recent awards event.

The Engineering Association, has presented bursary awards and engineering prizes to secondary students for many years but now recognises that inspiring young children can have a long term impact on career choices.

BDAE Member, Denis Lidstone, said ‘engineering is such a major part of this area’s economic success. Many engineering companies locally struggle to recruit suitable employees and we are keen to support a pipeline of high quality engineers. By awarding young engineers with prizes for their commitment to engineering and by supporting schools to enhance their engineering provision, we hope that the Barrow and District Association of Engineers will inspire young talent.’

The awards evening took place at Furness College and was attended by around 100 students and family members. Trustees from BDAE and Furness Education and Skills Partnership also attended with local employers and school leaders.

A key note speech was made by Mr David Wright, Group Chief Engineer National Grid, Decarbonising Britain’s Energy. Mr Wright shared his own career journey and told students about his current job. He demonstrated how important engineering is in solving world problems and in helping to protect our planet.

A programme of presentations followed showing the various stages of a Journey to Engineering in Furness. Furness Education and Skills Partnership showed the audience the projects they deliver and the events they organise for pupils from 7yrs to 14yrs. The charity works with employers and schools to give children an opportunity to get into engineering, meet local employers and develop the skills that employers are looking for.

Askam Village School and Sacred Heart Primary showed how they have used their £500 prize money to extend their engineering provision. New technologies and engineering projects had been bought to make children’s learning exciting and hands on. Children wowed the audience with their presentations.

Ulverston Victoria High School and Dowdales School showed how design and technology lessons, at secondary school, further develop the skills and experience required for a career in engineering. They demonstrated the excellent engineering teaching and learning at their schools that had been selected to win school prizes.

The awards event was held at Furness College so that families could learn more about the further education and higher education stages of the journey to engineering. The college offers a range of qualifications, apprenticeships, and enables students to take varied routes into engineering careers.

Furness Education and Skills Partnership Coordinator, Neil Tippins, said ‘there are so many brilliant young people here and so many fantastic career opportunities. It is more important than ever that we all work together to support young people on a journey of real-world learning, skills development and work experience so that they have great careers here, in Furness. We work with many employers locally and shape our offer based on the skills businesses tell us they need and the future jobs they will be able to offer. Many young people have lost self confidence during the pandemic, it is so important we support them well to get back on track.’

BDAE Chairman Russ Watson, presented children with individual bursaries and certificates recognising their engineering achievement so far and this very important first step on their journey to a potential engineering career.

Barrow & District Association of Engineers Award Event Collage

David Wright said that he was really impressed by the work of BDAE to engage future engineers at such a young age and in FESP’s Grow Your Own future employee model. He said ‘I work all over the country and more communities should use this partnership model to grow future employees. It is brilliant!’

Furness Education and Skills Partnership
Furness College
Ironworks Road
Barrow-in-Furness
LA14 2PJ

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