£32k boost for young engineers of the future

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A car firm is funding a £32,000 initiative to inspire North Glasgow’s engineers of the future.

More than 20 schools in Springburn, Milton and Possilpark will benefit from the project being set up by Allied Vehicles Group, in conjunction with not-for-profit organisation Primary Engineer.

The aim is to encourage young people into careers in engineering and help boost Scotland’s manufacturing industry.

Susanne Corner, Principal Teacher of St Teresa’s Primary School in Possilpark, one of the schools participating in the programme, said: “This is a very generous donation and one which the local schools greatly appreciate.

“We are always encouraging our pupils to think about their futures and to participate in activities which will enable them to experience different types of careers and occupations.

“This will help us to provide the children with an extensive and worthwhile experience of engineering activities. It is always beneficial when the local community are involved in learning opportunities for our children. The children not only respond enthusiastically but realise the opportunities that are available to all of them.”

The £16,000 funding over two years from Allied Vehicles, based in Possilpark, will be matched by Glasgow City Council, which is putting a further £16,000 into the project.

The Primary Engineer programmes provide teacher training and development in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and classroom engineering projects that create a real buzz across the whole school. Being paired with practising engineers means that teachers and pupils have a real-world context to their work.

Allied owners Gerry and Michael Facenna have also established the Ashfield Development Trust, a new charity which plans a £4 million sports and employability campus for North Glasgow.

Gerry Facenna said: “We design and manufacture many of our products, including wheelchair accessible cars, minibuses, taxis, patient transport vehicles and staff welfare vans, at our Glasgow site and we need a skilled workforce to enable us to keep growing this in the future.

“We want to encourage and widen the talent pool in Glasgow and the best way to do that is to engage and inspire youngsters from an early age and encourage them to consider engineering and manufacturing as a first-choice career. Scotland has a great history in engineering. We hope that through the Primary Engineer initiative and other education partnerships, Allied Vehicles can do its part in helping ensure Scotland has a great engineering future as well.”

Primary Engineer, a not-for-profit organisation, works with schools across the UK to provide engineering programmes that inspire teachers and pupils and encourage young people to consider careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Lise McCaffery, Primary Engineer’s Director in Scotland, said: “We’re thrilled that Allied Vehicles is kindly funding programmes that will directly impact more than 20 schools in the Milton, Possilpark and Springburn areas. It’s a wonderful example of how industry and business can support the young people on their doorstep.”

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Lifelong Learning at Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted that this partnership working will create even more opportunities for our budding engineers to learn about this wonderful subject.”