It’s been a challenging six months for the students we support, for universities and for many industries, as highlighted in the Sutton Trusts Covid-19 impact briefsAt a time when outreach is needed more than ever, we are pleased to announce that the Sutton Trust is launching new employability programmes and developing new partnerships. 

The Sutton Trust is delighted to be partnering with the University of Warwick to pilot brandnew Pathways to Engineering programme, supporting 25-35 highly able year 12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in the fieldThey will get a chance to explore what studying and working in engineering is really like. Pathways to Engineering will comprise of a range of activities over two years: academic taster sessions, skills workshops, group project work, networking, insights into the industry and application support. 

This is the first Sutton Trust programme that will give participants the chance to fully explore apprenticeships as an entry-point into the sector, alongside routes though higher education. This has been made possible by as the fantastic academic and industry partners involved in the courses delivered by the University of Warwick.  

We are launching this programme in response to the findings of our Pathways to STEM pilot. Our evaluation, undertaken by the Bridge Group, showed that by year 12 many of our students wanted to explore a specific area within STEM, which this programme is designed to do. The Sutton Trust sees the engineering sector as a great opportunity area for social mobility. Not only is it an industry that would benefit from greater socioeconomic diversity, and where there is a significant skills gap in the UK, but there are a range of routes in, which increases the choices for young people interested in engineering, irrespective of their background.  

Paul Blagburn – Head of Widening Participation at Outreach at the University of Warwick:

We are excited to be expanding our partnership with the Sutton Trust and to be enhancing opportunities for young people to gain important insights into vital professions and industries. The University of Warwick is uniquely positioned in an area with a reputation for world-leading advanced manufacturing and engineering.  The Pathways to Engineering programme is designed to unlock talent and promote socioeconomic diversity by supporting students to make informed decisions about their future, including raising awareness of Degree Apprenticeship routes.  

The Sutton Trust is also pleased to share that we have extended our partnership with Cardiff University. The University first partnered with the Trust in 2019 on our Flagship UK Summer Schools programme. We are now able to extend this partnership to include the Pathways to Law programmewhich supports over 500 students a year. Cardiff University will be joining the longstanding and successful consortium of partners which includes institutions like Exeter, Oxford, LSE, Nottingham, Manchester and Newcastle 

In response to the publication of its Home and Away report, the Sutton Trust has increased its focus on creating a good geographic spread of opportunities through its beneficiary facing work. This programme will be the first Sutton Trust employability programme to run in Wales and will focus on engaging highly able students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. We look forward to working with the university to support young aspiring lawyers to explore the legal profession. 

Laura Bruce – Director of Programmes at the Sutton Trust:

We are delighted to expand our Pathways programmes to both new industries and new parts of the UK this year. It is a testament to the commitment to widening participation at Warwick University and Cardiff University that these programmes are able to launch during the current pandemic and we are very grateful for their continued partnership. The last six months have certainly shown us how important these programmes are to support students with their future choices and we look forward to welcoming the new students to our programmes in the near future.

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