Over 400 Transition Year students will explore the limitless opportunities afforded by a career in engineering by taking part in the first virtual STEPS Engineering Your Future programme.
Co-ordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme and hosted by 14 academic and industry partners, including Dundalk Institute of Technology, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Munster Technological University, NUI Galway, Technological University Dublin, University College Dublin and engineering firms, ESB, Clandillon Civil Consulting Ltd., DBFL Consulting Engineers Ltd., Palliare and Fingleton White, the virtual work experience programme will offer students the opportunity to learn live and find out more about engineering through practical demonstrations, engineering challenges and career talks with industry experts.
With COVID-19 having a widespread impact on in-person Transition Year work placements, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said the institution was pleased to partner with industry and academia to offer Transition Year students virtual work experience. “Collectively,” she said, “we are aiming to provide quality learning opportunities to Transition Year students, supporting them in gaining insights into the diverse world of engineering and what a career in the profession can offer.”
“As a small island nation, we have a reliance on the quality and quantity of our STEM graduates. An engineering qualification offers a chance to do extremely rewarding work, enhance people’s lives and explore almost limitless career opportunities both in Ireland and overseas. The involvement of our 14 industry and academic partners is critical to providing rewarding virtual work experiences in the coming weeks for Transition Year students. I would like to thank our partners for their shared involvement in our programme, which is also funded by SFI and the Department of Education.”
Michelle Mac Lennan of Fingleton White, who are hosting 10 students on the virtual STEPS Engineering Your Future programme, said: “We are proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to host students this week on the STEPS Engineering Your Future programme. As a leading provider of engineers and project managers to the energy sector, we are delighted to play a role in developing Ireland’s future talent pipeline by nurturing and encouraging students to learn more about the opportunities that exist in engineering.”
The previously in-person work experience programme was first established in 2013 and has engaged over 2,500 students to date, with significant success in supporting students to pursue engineering and STEM courses at third level. Ms Spillane added: “Longitudinal studies from our STEPS Engineering Your Future programme show key linkages between those who participate in the programme and their course choice preference at third level, with many positively opting for a career in STEM. For example, 42% of Transition Year students who took part in the programme in 2017 are studying an engineering course at third level, with a further 40% studying a STEM related programme.”
Transition Year students who would like to find out more about engineering are also invited to take part in the STEPS Engineering Your Future @ Home Challenge. This challenge has been created to encourage students to design or create a device or system that can improve sustainability in their home, school, or community. With Airpods and One4All gift cards up for grabs, entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Monday, 31 May 2021.
The STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme is coordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and industry leaders ARUP, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Click for more information.