Marine Engineering Pathway Project to inspire young people

Since the launch of this major project in 2016, Seafarers UK and its co-sponsor and delivery partner, Sea Cadets have been working in partnership to inspire and engage young people in schools and Sea Cadet units across the UK in learning more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and to think about a future in marine engineering.

We have been doing this through the roll-out of six custom-built mobile Learning Units (‘Pods’), based regionally across the UK. The project aims to increase access across the country to the heavy and expensive equipment which is essential for teaching marine engineering to young people. Each ‘Pod’ holds a sectioned engine, a working engine and an array of other marine engineering equipment.

The Marine Engineering Pathway (MEP) project presents an innovative approach, reaching out to thousands of young people and giving them a practical taste of marine engineering and the sector. In doing so it provides them with a pathway into potential employment, thus benefiting the industry. After three years the initial phase of the project (MEP1) has shown excellent results with over 18,000 school students having so far taken part. The evidence from teachers and students is that the project has made a real difference in inspiring young people about Marine Engineering and their GCSE choices.

Feedback from the project workshops reveals:

  • an increase from 26% to 36% of students planning to study engineering.
  • on average teachers rate the workshops nine out of ten.
  • 72% of pupils report that they ‘would like to do more marine engineering activities’ in future.
  • over two-thirds (67%) of pupils say they have been inspired to learn more about STEM subjects.
  • almost half (49%) of students report that they would ‘consider a career in marine engineering’ following the workshop.

An extension to the project has now been developed, to meet the ongoing need for marine engineering education. Known as MEP2 – and with full provision of six Learning Units and STEM Coordinators – the new programme will build on the success of the initial three-year pilot phase, aiming to deliver marine engineering taster sessions and workshops to 12,540 young people a year over three years (37,620 in total by the end of April 2022). MEP2 will also take the project to the next level with the launch of a special marine engineering package for older students and cadets, helping to inspire further the next generation of young engineers in the UK.

You can find out more about this project by contacting Richard Holmes at Seafarers UK. For more information on how to book a free STEM Marine Engineering workshop, visit www.sea-cadets.org/get-started/stem-workshop.