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Higher apprentice wins national bursary for engineering talent

7 March 2018

Gary Shaw, a 21-year-old higher engineering apprentice at Gloucestershire College, is celebrating after receiving an Engineering Horizons Bursary from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). The bursaries are awarded to students who are passionate about engineering and have taken up a place on an engineering or technology degree course which has been accredited by the IET.

The scheme helps students entering an apprenticeship or an engineering degree programme, who have qualifications such as a BTEC, HND, Access to Higher Education Diploma or other vocational qualification, as well as those in challenging circumstances. The sponsorship will be £1,000 for up to four years and winners also benefit from mentoring and work experience placements through the IET’s extensive networks.

Gary is studying for his degree in Electronic and Aerospace Computer Engineering, whilst working at GE Aviation.

He said: “Since I was young I have always been interested in how things work. I studied maths, physics and chemistry at school and I knew I wanted a career involving STEM subjects. My passion is aviation and I decided I wanted to work within the aerospace industry.

“Since starting my degree apprenticeship, I have obtained a Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations and I am currently studying a BEng (Hons) Electronic and Computer Engineering with the University of the West of England. I am also completing an NVQ Level 4 with Gloucestershire College and an ILM Leadership certificate. I have had rotations around my site in systems engineering, hardware testing and commercial operations. In my next rotation I will be working with engineers to help develop the new Electrical Load Management System for the new B777X aircraft.

“I have participated in many volunteering schemes with GE such as Imagineering, Cheltenham Science Festival and Girls Get Set. These schemes are all focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers. 

“Ultimately, I would like to lead a team and progress into Engineering Project Management. As I have a passion for aviation I want to complete my Pilot’s license; it is something I have always wanted to do. I hope I will continue to help and inspire future engineers throughout my career.

Nick Winser, IET President commented: “We’re thrilled to have been able to support talented apprentices and undergraduate students who have overcome obstacles and personal challenges to pursue an engineering education and career for the second year in a row.

“We hope that the scheme will continue to grow and we will build the number of our bursary winners, who have a passion for engineering and are keen to promote engineering to others.”

For more information about engineering apprenticeships at Gloucestershire College, visit the Gloucestershire College Apprenticeship Open Evening at Gloucester Campus on Wednesday 28 March, 5.30pm to 8pm. Book your place at

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