Thursday, January 21, 2016

News: Alcoa funds university initiatives to help students manufacture their future


Sheffield Hallam University has secured a £50,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to deliver a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills development programme for more than 300 young people and students.

In 2014, lightweight metals leader, Alcoa completed the acquisition of Firth Rixson, a global leader in aerospace jet engine components, in a deal worth £1.7 billion. The company has offices and facilities across Sheffield and Rotherham specialising in forgings and extrusions.

Th funding will enable half-day engineering masterclasses at the University for young people aged 14-18 from schools and colleges across the city. Hundreds of students will be able to take part over the next academic year.

Sheffield Hallam will partly match the funding to encourage and support schools and colleges in low participation areas to get involved in the programme. Students who complete the masterclasses will be awarded ten UCAS points to support and enhance their application to study engineering or mathematics at the University.

A second initiative will roll out a BTEC Level 3 qualification across the city region which has previously only been available at King Edward VII School in Sheffield. Funding will give students at other schools and colleges the chance to use the University's science and engineering facilities as part of their study.

A job-readiness programme for final year STEM students at the University is the final initiative that will support job search and provide an opportunity for students to hone their technical CVs and applications, as well as to practice interview techniques.

Additionally, ten students will compete for internships of up to 140 hours at a variety of employers.

Conor Moss, director of education and employer partnerships at Sheffield Hallam said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Alcoa Foundation on this exciting new initiative.

"STEM skills development is crucial, and these three initiatives will support young people to develop these skills across the city region, and help our graduates to find well-paid professional and technical roles in the manufacturing and engineering industry."

Sean Khosrovani, vice president of operations excellence at Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions, added: "Alcoa Foundation funds non-profit organisations to help support the communities where our employees work and live. Partnering with Sheffield Hallam University clearly aligns with Alcoa's aim to help prepare the next generation of students for demanding careers in manufacturing and to advance science and engineering."

The Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States, with assets of approximately $480m. Partnering with Discovery Education in the US, the foundation runs the "Manufacture your Future" project to cultivate the next generation of manufacturing leaders and innovators.

Alcoa website
Sheffield Hallam website

Images: Alcoa


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