Williams, based at Grove, near Wantage, has announced its engineering academy, which first launched in 2015 with the support of Randstad, will continue this year in collaboration with Unilever.
The Unilever Williams Engineering Academy (UWEA) is designed to identify young, talented engineers and will launch later this month at the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.
The high-profile programme will give up to 10 students from around the world a head start in a competitive job market by providing advice, mentoring and guidance. Academies designed to identify and train future racing drivers have existed in Formula One for a number of years, but this unique scheme is dedicated to recognising and supporting a new generation of engineering stars.
The cohort on the competitive e-learning programme will complete a series of extra-curricular projects, vocational placements and mentoring experiences at Williams and Unilever. Gradually, the ten students will be reduced on a yearly basis with the potential for two students to graduate to full-time roles.
Dave Penrith, chief engineer at Unilever, commented: “It is really exciting to further develop our partnership with Williams and to launch the Unilever Williams Engineering Academy. Encouraging young people to consider a career in engineering is a key priority for our organisation and fundamental to ensuring we give future talent the opportunities and support at this early stage of their career. I am looking forward to meeting the students at the F1 in Schools World Finals in Singapore this month and to welcome ten new students to the academy.”
Claire Williams, deputy team principal, addeded: “I am delighted to see our partnership with Unilever extend to include a rewarding and exciting initiative such as this. Education is extremely important to us in terms of finding the next generation of engineers. We’ve been running the academy since 2015 and we’re thrilled to see Unilever help take this forward to find the young engineering talent of the future.”
The 10 students will be selected at the F1 in Schools World Final in Singapore. F1 in Schools is a not-for-profit organisation which encourages the development of STEM skills by allowing schools to take on the role of a Formula One team. The UWEA will be open to those aged between 16 and 18 who have made it through to the World Finals with successful candidates being selected following a series of assessments.
The FMCG giant Unilever has been a partner of the Williams Formula One team since 2015. The partnership includes marketing and promotional rights, as well as offering a strategic way to activate the sponsorship – The Unilever Synergy Programme. The Synergy Programme forms a central pillar of the partnership activity, using engineering expertise from the Formula One environment and Williams Advanced Engineering (the technology and engineering arm of the business). The Synergy Programme aims to drive efficiencies, sustainability and cost savings via multiple work streams and maximising the two-way relationship.