Rebecca Hendron from Newtownabbey and Kim Hunter from Cookstown, who are studying Post 16 Engineering at South West College (SWC), have been granted the Royal Academy of Engineering, Northern Ireland Post 16 Bursary. This bursary is worth a total of £1500 and aims to address the shortage of engineers in the UK while promoting diversity and inclusivity.

The bursary scheme is part of the Northern Ireland Engineering Education Programme in collaboration with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland. It supports young women who are passionate about engineering and are enrolled in full-time post-16 STEM study at an eligible FE College or school.

The bursaries are intended to assist women students in pursuing Level 3 vocational engineering qualifications or A Levels, with a focus on engineering studies or a future engineering career. The Royal Academy of Engineering is devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraged applications from women who are currently underrepresented in the field of engineering.

Rebecca and Kim met the criteria for the bursary and were successful in their application at the beginning of their first year of study. Over the course of two years, they will each receive £1500 in financial support to cover their study expenses as they complete their Level 3 Gold Engineering program at the SWC Dungannon campus.

Rebecca and Kim expressed their gratitude for being awarded the bursary, saying it will ease the financial burden of studying and support their progression into exciting engineering careers. As an apprentice Rebecca, studies at the college one day per week alongside employment at Moy Park. Upon completion, she hopes to progress to a Foundation Degree in Electrical or Aeronautical Engineering, whereas Kim aspires to become a mechanical engineer.

SWC Deputy Head of School, Joanne McGovern said:

“The bursary scheme aims to support young women with a passion for engineering and an idea of where an engineering qualification will lead them. The Royal Academy of Engineering provides support on students' journey through education, so they can achieve their ambitions of working in the ground-breaking engineering industry.

I am delighted to partner with the Royal Academy of Engineering to support females in the field of Engineering and provide opportunities to help female engineers grow and develop their skills for the future."

For more information about the Level 3 Gold Engineering course, please contact Christopher Devlin via email or for the Skills Academy course, please Joanne Mc Govern via email or apply online by visiting