Energy giant bp is helping develop a pipeline of future engineering talent with the announcement of a further 20 scholarship places at Redcar and Cleveland College.
The bespoke opportunity will give 20 young people, looking to study engineering, with a particular interest in the clean energy sector, the chance to earn while they learn the skills of their future trade with leading industry backing.
And, in a drive to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM, through its work with schools, careers advisors and female-focused recruitment events, the college plans to recruit at least 10 female students to the programme.
“This is an incredible opportunity for school leavers across Teesside looking to specialise in the green skills needed for the future,” said Redcar and Cleveland College’s head of construction, engineering and service industries, Dave Laycock.
“We are excited to, once again, be working alongside bp to give young people the chance to build skills that will prepare them for the specialist roles the inward investment into Tees Valley’s emerging green economy is bringing to the area.”
Already with a foot on the ladder, Anya, 17, of Hartlepool, was among the first cohort of bp scholars to join the college last year. She said: “I chose engineering because of the practical hands-on nature of the course and because I know it will open-up multiple career opportunities to me.
“Green skills are so important for our future, and developments in Teesside are leading to the creation of hundreds of jobs which will require people with low carbon engineering skills.”
Proud to be among those selected for a place on the scholarship, she said: “This is a huge opportunity. One of the benefits of being associated with an employer such as bp is the opportunities it creates, both during the course and after.”
Delivered at the college’s Clean Energy Education Hub, the Teesside Clean Energy Technician Scholarship is a two-year full-time engineering course designed to deliver skills needed for developments in carbon capture and the green industries. The scholars will also receive a £100 weekly term-time allowance.
“bp has always believed that local people are at the heart of Teesside’s aims to be a world-class low carbon energy hub,” said Thomas Thayer, UK skills partnership manager at bp.
“Following the successful launch of the scholarship’s first cohort, bp is proud to be partnering with Redcar and Cleveland College once again to equip young Teessiders with the skills required to access the low-carbon jobs that will place the region at the heart of the UK’s energy transition.”
Among the first batch of bp-backed scholars, Redcar and Cleveland College student Alfie, described the opportunity as, “a brilliant start to adult life”.
The 16-year-old from Saltburn said: “Low carbon and renewable energy is the future, and I know my career will be down this path. My hope is that in the future bp will choose to take me on, and I will keep trying my best until that happens.”
Redcar and Cleveland College’s Dave Laycock said: “It is fantastic to see the growth already in our first group of scholarship students and the backing from bp is also leading to industry links and further opportunities that benefit all of our engineering students.
“Ideally positioned, and with much of the infrastructure in place, Teesside looks set to lead the way in the transition to cleaner, greener energy and, by investing in our young people, bp is showing its commitment to our communities.”
School leavers can now apply for the Teesside Clean Energy Technician Scholarship starting in September 2024.
Redcar and Cleveland College’s Clean Energy Education Hub was part funded by the UK government’s Towns Fund as part of levelling up plans.