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GE Foundation’s Next Engineers: Engineering Academy kicks off in Staffordshire

February 21, 2022

Forty-Seven Year 11 students have been officially selected to form the first cohort for the GE Foundation’s Next Engineers: Engineering Academy programme. Next Engineers is focused on increasing the diversity of young people in engineering with Staffordshire as one of four global inaugural locations. 30 percent of the successful candidates identified as female, significantly higher that the professional engineering industry average of 14.5 percent. In addition, nearly 32 percent of applicants are from diverse ethnic groups.

The successful candidates, set to take part in the bespoke three-year further education programme, have come from 22 different schools across Staffordshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands. GE Foundation’s local partner, Connectr, will be providing the Year 11 students with first-hand experiences of engineering, helping them to think and act like engineers, and equipping them with the core skills they’ll need to enter further education. The programme has been designed to integrate with each student’s existing studies.

Over the next three years, students will be taken through immersive engineering design challenges, career coaching and workshops, and visit some of GE sites. Based at Staffordshire University’s Stoke campus, students will have access to industry-leading technology, equipment and expertise within the Power and Renewable Energy sector to fuel their engineering ambition.

GE has over 125 years of experience in the U.K. and Ireland, employing approximately 8,500 across the region. Kevin O’Neill, President & CEO of GE UK & Ireland, comments: “Next Engineers will provide a platform for young people from different backgrounds to bring their unique perspectives to engineering. Engineering Academy will give young people the vital skills and knowledge required to pursue a career within engineering, whilst they begin thinking about their choice in higher education. I congratulate all the successful candidates who are now enrolled in our programme and look forward to witnessing the exciting journey they are about to undertake.”

Along with Staffordshire, Next Engineers has launched in Cincinnati, Ohio and Greenville, South Carolina in the U.S., and Johannesburg, South Africa, Globally, the GE Foundation has partnered with FHI 360, an international nonprofit working to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, to develop the program framework.

For more information about the Engineering Academy, or to see what other opportunities the Next Engineers programme has to offer young people in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas, please visit

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About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, an independent charitable organisation funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. Through Next Engineers, we are increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.

About General Electric (GE)
GE rises to the challenge of building a world that works. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today the company’s dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. GE’s people are diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest level of integrity and focus to fulfil GE’s mission and deliver for its customers. Learn more at

About Connectr
Connectr, formerly MyKindaFuture, is an award-winning HR tech platform for building businesses where people belong. Connectr turns D&I strategy into reality by creating a culture where everyone is included, from candidates to employees. Connectr's technology platforms enable businesses to engage, hire, retain and mentor their people of all backgrounds - so every person has equal power and opportunity to succeed. We understand that school outreach programmes that leverage technology as a force for good are key in creating deep and lasting relationships with overlooked talent groups at the beginning of their career. Learn more at

About FHI 360
FHI 360 is a nonprofit, international, human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Using a 360-degree approach, its team of more than 4,000 professionals helps create jobs, educate children, provide lifesaving health care and bring about positive social change. To ensure the fidelity of the model and success of the Next Engineers program, FHI 360 provides global program management and technical assistance to GE Volunteers and local implementing organizations.

Jack Quinney or Adem Johnston 01993 823011 or or