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Engineering initiatives announced in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK

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‘Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation’ launched in sub-Saharan Africa

The UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering has launched the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The prize covers engineering innovation across all disciplines, including mechanical, civil, mining, oil and gas and electronic engineering. The Academy has called for entries from engineers that are affiliated with universities and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Engineers whose entries have been shortlisted will receive six months of training, monitoring and support in commercialising their innovation. The overall winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be awarded £25 000.

“Engineering is crucial to social and economic development in South Africa and internationally,” said Malcolm Brinded, a Fellow of the Academy and Chair of the judging panel for the prize. “The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims to recognise the importance of African engineers and to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, while encouraging young people to become engineers by creating successful role models.”

“The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will show how African engineers build countries, communities and economies, and put the spotlight on our education system to deliver professional engineers into the economy with the right knowledge and skills,” added South African Judge of the Africa Prize in Engineering, Liesbeth Botha of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The innovation entries should have social, economic or environmental benefits. They should be early-stage with the potential to be scaled-up and commercialised. The deadline for submitting an entry is 30 May 2014. More information can be found here.

UK engineering apprenticeships

The Engineering Council has welcomed the UK government’s plans for Trailblazer apprenticeships, announced during National Apprenticeship Week. The government plans to develop 29 further Trailblazer programmes, including a further eight in the engineering sector. The Engineering Council and other professional engineering institutions worked with employers during the initial eight Trailblazer programmes to ensure a greater focus on quality for the learner and routes to professional registration are achieved.

The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence will continue to underpin the Trailblazer apprenticeships, while the launch of the EngTechNow Campaign will support those pursuing professional registration as an engineering technician or incorporated engineer.

“The EngTechNow campaign will directly support engineering apprentices and employers engaged in Trailblazers, providing them with information on professional registration. At the end of a Trailblazer programme, an engineering apprentice should meet the requirements for professional registration as EngTech,” said Jon Prichard, CEO of the Engineering Council. “The EngTech post nominals provide employers with the assurance and recognition that an individual has undergone rigorous independent assessment of their competence and commitment, benchmarked at a global level, whilst also demonstrating their commitment to their own development a professional code of conduct. Companies demonstrating support for professionally registered technicians may find they can attract and retain the best talent.”

Adapted from press releases by

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