Plymouth University has launched “The Tamar Engineering Project” which they hope will help counter the shortfall of engineering graduates from socioeconomically vulnerable sections of society.
The project is being funded by a £500k anonymous donation and will be championed by the former CEO of Lockheed Martin UK and Plymouth alumni, Stephen Ball (pictured below).
Stephen Ball – the former CEO of Lockheed Martin UK and Plymouth alumni, will be the scheme’s champion
The programme is designed to help students that meet certain socioeconomic criteria (i.e. low-income families, carer givers or care leaver, or from traditionally ‘low participation’ groups in higher education). The scheme will include 29 courses at Plymouth including engineering, computing and robotics.
Currently, the scheme is being trialled with four students from the computer science, computer systems, civil engineering and mechanical engineering departments. These students are being mentored by Michael LeGoff, CEO at Plessey; Dominic Bostock, commercial director at Cormac; Nick Ames, group chief executive at SC Group; and Jon Benton, regional director at Dawnus.
Once the scheme officially launches more mentors will be recruited to allow the project to expand.
On a statement on the Tamar website, Plymouth explained that “Engineering is a creative and exciting career with great opportunities and high social mobility. However, the cost of undertaking a degree to pursue this path can be a barrier to those from disadvantaged backgrounds [and] there is also a growing concern over the national shortage of engineers in the UK.
[…] In addition to relieving financial worries, [the schemes] support will alleviate the strains of study and help students develop essential interpersonal skills such a networking and business etiquette so that they may graduate as confident, highly employable, conscientious engineers.”
Students who successfully apply to the scheme will receive a £1.5k course fee waiver and £3k living costs per year as well as access to their industry mentor.
If you are interested in applying or want to support the project you can find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/campaign/tamar