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Sponsorship lures students to civil engineering courses

FINANCIAL BACKING has been secured from Arup, Kier, Atkins and Kvaerner for a new civil engineering scholarship scheme being run by Surrey University to attract more students into the profession.

Other firms are being encouraged to join the scheme which hopes to offer 30 MEng students £2,000 a year for four years plus guaranteed employment for a one year, mid course sandwich placement.

'It is expected that the graduates will then go and work for their sponsoring company when they leave Surrey, ' said scheme founder Dr Bob Griffiths.

He said the scheme will be one way for companies to beat skills shortages by tying students into the profession from day one. The financial reward will also help counter golden hello payments now increasingly being offered by other professions who are keen to recruit numerate civils graduates.

Griffiths needs a total of 15 sponsors to get the scheme up and running, with an eventual aim of 25.

ICE has backed the initiative and the course is expected to pioneer a fast track route to membership for graduates. One option being discussed is for core objectives to be signed off during periods of study and during the students' year at work.

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