JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 2022/ — General Electric (GE) (www.GE.com) in partnership with FHI360, PROTEC and the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) officially launched the Next Engineers programme in Johannesburg to increase the diversity of young people in engineering.
The programme launch, which was officiated by the Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, will provide more than 3500 students between the ages 13 to 18 over five years with hands-on exposure to engineering concepts and careers, and ultimately award financial support to students pursuing engineering degrees.
Next Engineers, funded by the GE Foundation, has also been launched in Cincinnati, Ohio and Greenville, South Carolina in the United States of America, and Staffordshire in the U.K. Since announcing the selection of Johannesburg as one of the four launch cities to implement Next Engineers globally last year, PROTEC and the GDE ensured Next Engineers garnered significant interest in the programme from high schools across Johannesburg’s five educational districts.
In fact, approximately 1100 students have applied to be among the first to participate in the programme’s exciting Engineering Discovery, Engineering Camp and Engineering Academy pillars. Today over 550 high school learners have been selected as the first cohort of students to develop their engineering identities through programme’s Engineering Discovery and Engineering Academy pillars.
Nyimpini Mabunda, CEO of GE South Africa says, “As we slowly start recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that we require more diverse solutions that will contribute to the growth of the economy. Through GE’s Next Engineers programme, we are not only exposing tomorrow’s engineers and changemakers who will solve society’s most pressing challenges to invaluable hands-on learning experiences but we are playing our part in increasing the representation of females in the engineering sector”.
“As the GDE, we welcome this initiative and are grateful that GE will be investing in transforming our engineering sector, especially through our learners. As we are aware, the engineering sector has a critical role to play in ensuring that Gauteng achieves its goals as articulated in the Growing Gauteng Together Vision 2030,” said Gauteng Education MEC, Mr. Panyaza Lesufi.
The total $2.5 million USD investment in Johannesburg will cover funding to PROTEC to implement and grow the programme, provide financial support for up to 150 Engineering Academy participants and funding for tuition for 800 youth to attend Engineering Camp.
“Working with the GE Foundation is a key step to uplifting the lives of many potential engineers in Johannesburg while also contributing to the acceleration of the engineering industry. Through this collaboration we look forward to mentoring and exposing students to endless possibilities brought by the engineering sector and giving them an opportunity to turn their passion into a career in engineering”, says PROTEC CEO, Mr. Balan Moodley.
Across South Africa, while education has made vast improvements, particularly in the past 15 years, there remains various challenges regarding access to varying levels of education. The Next Engineers programme starts with raising awareness as early as age 13 (grade eight), igniting interest throughout high school (ages 14 to 18), and alleviating financial barriers to higher education through financial support.
Students, educators and the community can obtain updates and more information at https://bit.ly/3HmEu10.
About the GE Foundation:
The GE Foundation, an independent charitable organisation funded by GE, is committed to transforming our communities and shaping the diverse workforce of tomorrow by leveraging the power of GE. Through Next Engineers, we are increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. Learn more at www.GEfoundation.com or follow us on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
About General Electric (GE):
GE rises to the challenge of building a world that works. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today the company’s dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. GE’s people are diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest level of integrity and focus to fulfil GE’s mission and deliver for its customers. Learn more at www.GE.com
About General Electric in South Africa:
GE has been operating in South Africa since 1898. Today, GE celebrates over 120 years in the African market, with South Africa being the first overseas office outside the USA which opened in Johannesburg. GE businesses encompass healthcare, aviation and power – contributing to key sectors of South Africa’s economy. Through GE’s expertise and innovation, we are continuously searching for real answers to the challenges of tomorrow.
About FHI 360:
FHI 360 is a nonprofit, international, human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Using a 360-degree approach, its team of more than 4,000 professionals helps create jobs, educate children, provide lifesaving health care and bring about positive social change. To ensure the fidelity of the model and success of the Next Engineers program, FHI 360 provides global program management and technical assistance to GE Volunteers and local implementing organizations.
PROTEC is a leading South African non-profit organization, operating nationally in the field of STEM education since 1982. PROTEC runs an excellence programme for disadvantaged learners that have the potential and the right attitude to change the course of their lives.