Engineering seeks skills solution in specialist schools

The engineering industry is to invest £150,000 in three state schools in a
bid to overcome the sector’s skills shortages.

The project is being funded by a consortium led by the Engineering
Employers’ Federation and will see the three schools – all in areas where there
are shortfalls in engineering skills – awarded specialist engineering status
from September.

Other schools will also be able to apply for specialist status if they raise
£50,000 in sponsorship through their local community.

If their application is successful they will be entitled to £100,000 from
the Government, plus £123 per pupil for up to four years.

The EEF said its sponsorship aims to boost the uptake of the Modern
Apprentices scheme, establish GCSE Engineering courses, and provide a base for
academic engineering study.

Ann Bailey, EEF head of education and skills, said: "The schools have
the potential to provide innovative teaching approaches to engineering-related
subjects. This is vital to providing an understanding of the role engineering
has in ensuring competitiveness and productivity in the UK."

The Government aims to have 1,500 specialist schools by 2005. The schools
will teach the full curriculum, but will have extended courses and facilities.

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