Engineering programme is '˜first' in UK

A pioneering initiative aimed at providing youngsters with vital skills for the future is set to get a funding boost from Burnley Council.
AMS NeveAMS Neve
AMS Neve

The Primary Engineer project, which has been based in Burnley for the past 12 months, provides training for teachers so they can pass on essential maths, science and technology skills to school pupils.

The initiative aims to provide young people with key skills, whether they choose a career in engineering or not. It is supported by some of the borough’s biggest engineering and aerospace companies, through the Burnley bondholders scheme.

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During the past 12 months the scheme has been sponsored by world-leading audio company AMS Neve. The company will continue to help sponsor the programme as it develops further.

Now the council has set aside £165,000 to help expand the scheme and establish a three-year programme which aims to introduce a wide range of activities, including: Training in new technologies such as 3D printing and computer coding; Training for reception and Year 1 teachers to develop learning techniques through play; Creating a competition and exhibition around the theme “what could you do if you could be an engineer in Burnley?”

The programme would engage with 5,000 primary school pupils each year, and up to 1,500 secondary pupils by the third year of the scheme.

Council leader Mark Townsend said: “This is the first programme of its kind in England. It is an excellent example of partnership working between the private, not for profit and public sector.

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“Primary Engineer is about the supporting the aspirations of young people to ‘Make it in Burnley’ and is a part of the council’s commitment to having an education offer to support world class Burnley businesses.

“It’s about not only nurturing and creating world class engineers for Burnley’s world class engineering and aerospace firms; it’s also about arming young pupils with the drive and imagination for them to go out and be whatever they want to be.

“It’s about ‘Making it in Burnley’, in every sense, so that young people can reach their potential and make their contribution to Burnley’s strong economic future. It’s vital we give our young people every possible advantage so they can prosper as adults, and hopefully help their home town prosper as well.”

Mark Crabtree OBE, managing director of AMS Neve, said: “It’s vital to inspire young people with the interest, opportunity and ambition to lead to their future prosperity, and that of Burnley.

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“In less than a year, driven and funded entirely by the private sector, Burnley Bondholder volunteers and schools, our “Making it in Burnley” programme has enthused over 500 children and teachers in nearly all of Burnley’s primary schools. As another example of all Burnley pulling together, we’re now well on our way to the top of the class.”