EDA’s innovative Sponsored Student Scheme backed by employers in the South East

An innovative scheme designed to connect companies in the South east with University of Kent engineering students has been launched.

Set up by the University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA), the Sponsored Student Scheme programme enables small and large organisations in the region to collaborate with engineering students at an early stage in their studies.

The programme aims to build a long-term relationship with a company and student by providing work experience outside of term time, one-year placement opportunities and mentoring opportunities throughout their studies at Kent.

It also provides students with the opportunity to undertake their final-year project for the organisation, as well as building working relationships to secure jobs for students when they graduate.

Professor Sarah Spurgeon, Head of EDA, said: ‘The scheme is successful because it bridges the gap between offering students a way to enhance their own employability, giving their CV a massive boost, and provides employers with easy access to some of our outstanding students. It also demonstrates the value that employers place on students from the University of Kent.’

Andrew Cooper, Managing Director of BMT Reliability Consultants Ltd who has signed up to the programme, said: ‘We have been delighted with this scheme, which matches the needs of forward-thinking employers seeking the best future employees with the needs of students aspiring to be that future talent. The scheme is well organised and cost-effective. We look forward to continuing co-operation with the University of Kent.’

Mark Hopkins, Engineering and Technical Manager at Procon Engineering, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for companies to reap the undoubted rewards of sponsoring a student over a three year period.’

Maxwell Harvey who has undertaken a summer placement with BMT Reliability Consultants, said: ‘Taking part in the Sponsored Student Scheme has developed my interpersonal skills, built my confidence and equipped me with technical skills that further my understanding of elements in my course. The scheme has given me a fantastic insight into the industrial environment and has allowed me to build professional relationships at an early stage. It’s great to be able to go to the company for advice and support during my studies.’

Michael Nash, a student who undertook a placement at Megger Instruments Ltd, said: ‘The placement gave me huge insight into the Industry; I have experiences from the factory floor to the boardroom. This opportunity has also given my CV a huge boost and now I cannot wait to get back to the world of work.’

Organisations from the South East who are already involved in the scheme include: Axicon Auto ID Limited, BMT Reliability Consultants Ltd, Megger Instruments Limited, and Procon Engineering – A Division of National Oilwell Varco UK Ltd.