Scholarship funds engineers of the future

A scholarship that has helped several aspiring engineering get the career skills they need has opened for 2019.

Paul Bland - Furness College Scholarship

The scholarship, funded by Ørsted, is now in its third year at Furness College with up to £40,000 available to fund students through engineering courses at the Channelside campus, in Barrow-in-Furness.

Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, has set aside the money through its Walney Extension Community Fund to help people across South Cumbria get the education they need to progress in their dream careers in engineering.

So far, eight students have benefited from the scholarship, which pays student fees for a range of courses in electrical and mechanical engineering - from a national diploma and HNC through to degrees and Honours degrees - to support those who may not otherwise be able to finance themselves through qualifications.

Imran Nawaz, Stakeholder Advisor at Ørsted, said: “It great to hear about the success stories behind Walney Extension Community Fund, as its whole purpose is to help make a positive impact in the local area. We’re delighted to be helping local people to build the skills they need to pursue their dream careers and help develop the next generation of engineers. The recent Sector Deal announcement by the UK Government aims to triple the number of jobs in the offshore wind sector by 2030, so now is a great time to explore the growing career opportunities in the industry.”

Kate Colebourn, Head of Area for Technical and Build Engineering at Furness College, said the scholarship is breaking down financial barriers to higher education.

“As the largest provider of education and skills training in Cumbria we are delighted to be able to offer this scholarship again in partnership with Ørsted. We know there is a growing demand for highly-skilled workers, particularly in engineering, and this is enabling people to develop the skills that will enable them to progress in employment. 

“Through this partnership we have seen how this funding can transform people’s lives and future prospects. We’ve had a construction worker take up electrical engineering, a welder retrain as a technical engineer, an unemployed university graduate start on a career path in mechanical engineering and a cruise ship DJ and new father make the life-changing move into engineering to provide financial security for his family.”

“It allows us to focus on finding the talented engineers of the future and support the business community by ensuring workers have the skills they need.” The college will deliver the courses from September on its £47m Channelside campus and students will study in the cutting-edge Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre, which won a BBC North West Building of the Decade award.

The successful students will join more than 500 students on higher education courses at the college, which has secured an ‘excellent’ rating in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework report for ensuring students go into highly skilled employment after their studies and for the academic support it offers.

Ørsted, formerly known as DONG Energy, has a vision to create a world that runs entirely on green energy and is at the forefront of the UK’s transition to low-carbon energy supplies. Last year the company, officially opened the world’s largest wind farm, Walney Extension, off the coast of Cumbria – a project that is capable of powering more than half a million UK homes. The courses available with support are:

  • National Diploma in Engineering (Level 3) Full or PT
  • HNC Engineering Electrical or Mechanical Engineering (2 Years)
  • Bachelor in Engineering – Ordinary Degree (2 Years) (Mechanical or Electrical)
  • Bachelor in Engineering – Hons Degree (4 Years) (Mechanical or Electrical) 

Applications to the scholarship open this week. People who are not in full-time employment or who wish to retrain in engineering may be eligible to apply for the scholarship. For a full list of criteria or to find out more, call Cenedra McSkimmings at Furness College on 01229 844793 or via email


For more information contact

For more information, please contact:

Mike Day
UK Media Relations
+44 (0) 7767 008893