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

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.

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.

“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.”

The college will deliver the courses from September.

The courses available with support range from a national diploma through to an Honours degree. Applications to the scholarship are now open.

People who are not in full-time employment or who wish to retrain in engineering may be eligible to apply. For a full list of criteria call Cenedra McSkimmings on 01229 844793 or email businesssupport@furness.ac.uk.