General Electric (GE) has announced a five-year, US$2,5 million investment in Johannesburg to launch Next Engineers, a global initiative focused on increasing the diversity of young people in engineering. GE selected Johannesburg as one of four inaugural locations, aiming to inspire more than 3500 local students aged between 13 and 18 in Grades eight to twelve, provide first-hand experiences in engineering, and award financial support to pursue further education in engineering.
GE is partnering with PROTEC, a South African non-profit organisation that empowers local students to pursue and grow in STEM-based careers, to implement Next Engineers locally.
Earlier this year, GE committed up to $100 million to launch Next Engineers. Over the next decade, the goal is to reach more than 85 000 students across 25 locations globally. GE has been operating in the African market for more than 123 years, with Johannesburg being the first overseas office outside the USA. GE rises to the challenge of building a world that works through its expertise and innovation in healthcare, aviation, and power – contributing to key sectors of South Africa’s economy.
Nyimpini Mabunda, GE South Africa’s CEO, says: “Our growing global economy will require more engineers to solve society’s most pressing challenges – from sustainable flight to quality healthcare and clean energy. Next Engineers allows us to expose students to the world of engineering at a young age through invaluable hands-on learning experiences. Next Engineers will not only provide a platform for Johannesburg’s young people from different backgrounds to bring their unique perspectives to engineering but also empower them to foster the skills needed to build a world of the future that works. We recognise that for us to make a sustainable impact, we must be deliberate in our efforts to support social change.”
Balan Moodley, PROTEC’s CEO, comments: “We are thrilled to be working alongside the GE Foundation as the lead partner for its Next Engineers initiative in Johannesburg. It will transform the lives of so many within the programme, and of course, across the world, and we are excited to be a part of it. With an initiative like this, we aim to contribute towards changing the future of engineering.”
Next Engineers is a programme of the GE Foundation, an independent charitable organisation funded by GE. The Johannesburg cohort of Next Engineers will begin in January 2022 and will offer three age-dependent inspiring programmes to engage students on their paths to engineering studies:
- Engineering Discovery: Students aged 13 to 14 in Grade eight will be provided with multiple, short, one-hour exploratory experiences, and hands-on activities connecting students to real engineers to increase awareness of engineering as a viable career. Sessions will be delivered by volunteers both in the classroom and in the community.
- Engineering Camp: Students aged 14 to 15 in Grade nine will develop engineering identities through a week-long immersive camp experience during school holidays. Students will interact with experienced engineering faculty and staff, complete design challenges solving real-world problems, and interact directly with professional engineers and business leaders.
- Engineering Academy: Students aged 15 to 18 in Grades ten to twelve will enter a three-year further education readiness programme to guide and encourage them to pursue an engineering career path. The Engineering Academy will teach students to learn, think and act like engineers. This will provide 80 hours per year of out-of-school coaching, including longer challenges, a final year project, career coaching to expose students to different engineering pathways, and further education-readiness workshops. Students accepted onto engineering apprenticeships or engineering degrees will also receive a funding contribution from the GE Foundation.
Next Engineers will begin accepting applications for the Engineering Academy in January 2022. Students, teachers, and the community can obtain updates and more information on www.nextengineers.org
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 them 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.
PROTEC is a South African national, non-profit organisation – established in 1982 – that provides holistic, high-quality education and career support programme development in the fields of Mathematics, Science and Technology, as well as life skills training, together with scarce skills including engineering. PROTEC runs an impactful teacher support programme in many of the programme’s feeder schools. PROTEC’s head office is based in Randburg, Johannesburg, and it has a network of nine branches with seven projects in six provinces in the country. In 2022, PROTEC will celebrate 40 years of successful educational and career preparation support for high school students throughout the country.
PROTEC was launched in Soweto by a group of concerned engineers from the South African Institute of Civil Engineers, specifically to help high school children in disadvantaged communities prepare for successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The programme launched with 67 students, and since then it has provided opportunities for over 30 000 students to pursue engineering, science, and a wide range of related careers. The early success of the project soon led to PROTEC’s expansion into a national programme, and later included the addition of the teacher support programme.
Learn more at https://protec.org.za