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Matt Dale of Martin Baker Aircraft with a young engineer
Matt Dale, Group Vice President Human Resources at Martin-Baker Aircraft, which is funding the EPS Futures Foundation Year Programme

It’s hard to know what you want to do with your life at 15 years old – especially if you don’t have good careers advice at school or exposure to a wide range of careers. So if by age 18 a young person has discovered a passion for Engineering and Physical Sciences, they might have studied the ‘wrong’ subjects post-16, or did not achieve the grades to be considered directly for first year.

Martin-Baker Aircraft, the world leader in the design and manufacture of ejection and crashworthy seats, are giving young people a second chance to qualify for a degree. This family-run business, which has been able to save thousands of lives through high quality engineering, has generously donated £100,000 to fully-fund five students on a special foundation year, covering living costs, plus their University fees.

The benefits for students

The EPS Foundation year (EPS Futures) is an extra year at university, before the normal first year, to equip students who may have been disadvantaged in their education so far with the knowledge to succeed. For students whose specific circumstances mean they are not yet ready to enter the first year. The course will teach the required knowledge in Maths and Science, equivalent to A-level standard. EPS Futures can form a foundation to study Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Material Science, Maths or Physics.

The benefits for Martin-Baker Aircraft

In addition to funding students who might one day go on to work with Martin-Baker and/or make major innovations within the sector, Martin-Baker Aircraft are also hoping to offer;

  • Opportunities for students to complete internships / placements with Martin-Baker Aircraft, giving them practical work experience
  • Volunteering opportunities for staff
  • The chance for staff to join industrial advisory boards

Matt Dale, Group Vice President Human Resources at Martin-Baker Aircraft, says, ‘We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Birmingham on the EPS Futures Foundation Year Programme. Creating an environment to encourage more people to consider STEM subjects during and after school age is the only way to effectively close the skills gap most employers are experiencing.

‘The programme helps to remove barriers and create opportunities for individuals and employers. It is not only a benefit to the students as we know our existing engineers will be able to develop through mentoring and working with students on real world projects. Schools, universities and employers all need to play our part in creating a rich and diverse workforce for the future, we know that the EPS Futures Foundation Year can help deliver this aim.’

Find out how you could give students the opportunity they need to help build our future

If you are inspired by Martin Baker Aircraft's support for students and their investment in the next generation of engineers, get in touch to see whether a programme like this could be right for you.