21 May 2013
The newly introduced Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship will provide a £9000 bursary to three female students or apprentices who would like to explore a career or further studies in engineering.
In addition the winners will be provided with mentoring support from both Land Rover senior engineers and WISE representatives.
Launching the new engineering scholarship programme, Zara Phillips said: "I’m delighted to be supporting the Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship which provides young women with the opportunity to progress their career. There are equal opportunities for both men and women to succeed in engineering and now is an exciting time to get involved.”
Nicci Cook, Senior HR manager, from Land Rover said: "Land Rover has a proud tradition of encouraging diversity in the workplace. Engineering is at the very heart of our business and we rely on a broad range of talents to give us a competitive edge and help us move forwards. We hope that the Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship will inspire a new generation of women in engineering.”
According to a report published by EngineeringUK, Britain needs to double the number of engineering graduates and triple the number of engineering apprentices by 2020 to meet industry needs. At present, just 13% of engineering undergraduates are female, a problem Land Rover is determined to address. In addition to the Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship, Land Rover already runs specific training schemes to support ambitious female engineers.
The funding for the Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship has come from the 2012 MacRobert Award, which was presented to Land Rover for the Range Rover Evoque. The MacRobert Award is the premier UK award for engineering. The judges credited the ingenuity of the Land Rover engineers who succeeded in packaging key components under the vehicle floor, 'with millimetre accuracy'.
The scholarship is the first key activity to be announced using the funding from the award. The remainder of the fund will be used to expand Land Rover’s Inspiring Tomorrow's Engineers 4x4 schools challenge into a global initiative – allowing schools around the world the opportunity to explore engineering as a career option.
Speaking about the Scholarship, WISE Director Helen Wollaston said: "The greatest British brands emerged through creativity, innovation and passion - all qualities which shine through all the female engineers I have met, but at the moment, there are far too few of them. This new scholarship offers a really good start for a young woman entering the engineering profession. The industry needs to attract more female talent; this is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.”
The scholarship has also been welcomed by government. Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock MP, said: "Britain needs more engineers from a diverse range of backgrounds to compete effectively in today’s world. The government is delighted that the Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship recognises the key role played by female engineers and hopes that it will encourage more women to pursue a career in this exciting, dynamic industry.”
The Range Rover Evoque WISE Scholarship is open to any woman who has arranged an engineering based apprenticeship or has a confirmed place on a higher education engineering course. For more information and to apply visit www.inspiringtomorrowsengineers.com