Introducing EES Applied

In order to increase young people’s interest in STEM and develop employability skills, it has become increasingly important for employers to engage with schools. Importantly, providing students with the hands-on experience needed to develop their knowledge in industry, and the pathways into STEM that are available to them.

Most employers place a high value on prior experience of the work place when recruiting, and yet only 1 in 4 employers provide any form of structured experience or engagement. At post-16 there are limited opportunities for employer engagement and EDT’s Engineering Education Scheme (EES) is one of the (if not the only) national scheme offering a structured programme.

The impact of EDT’s Engineering Education Scheme (EES) has been truly impressive, which is probably why the scheme has remained so popular and relevant. EDT wanted to develop this scheme further with significant differences in terms of structure, content, cost, assessment and student targeting. This is how EES Applied was introduced, and is offered to all post 16 cohorts. Development of the programme was supported by ARM, a leading technology company in the UK.

Throughout EES Applied, teams of students get the opportunity to solve a set company problem over a period of 12 weeks to develop their skills. Not only will they be involved in a real life project, but it’s also a great way of gaining further insight into what is expected of them if they decide to take on an apprenticeship. This may be something they may want to know more about given the recent funding polices with the Apprenticeship Levy. EES Applied also enables students to use these experiences to strengthen their university, Apprenticeship, or job applications.

The EES Applied was piloted in 2016 with UTC (University Technical College) Cambridge who collaborated with us to offer 50 UTC students a project and local industry support. At the end of the project, a ‘Celebration and Assessment Day’ was held where students had the opportunity to show off their ideas and have their projects reviewed by Assessors from local businesses.  Students who completed the course graduated as Gold level Industrial Cadets.

The “EES Applied” programme framework consists of:

  • 12 week experience for teams of 4-6 students (age 16/17)
  • Bespoke company project or chosen from EDT’s  project menu
  • Team supported by company mentor(s) and teacher
  • Scheme Launch
  • Celebration and  Assessment Day combined with Industrial Cadets Graduation
  • Projects assessed by panels of Assessors from industry, business and education
  • Project outcomes evaluated and reported to all stakeholders
  • Accredited by Industrial Cadets at Silver Level and some at Gold Level 

The duration of the project phase allows flexibility in terms of timing during the academic year, which will enhance and assist school/company participation. This is a change from the traditional 6 month EES programme.


“...extremely valuable for the students. They’d clearly had some great ideas, and put in plenty of work” Robin Cooksey – Frontier Silicon

“The format of the project is much closer to the way real businesses operate: having an open-ended project, with a multi-disciplinary team investigating the whole problem and being responsible for all of the work they do. This is much more realistic than traditional, purely academic studies, so in that sense it’s (really) relevant” Chris Lambrou – redgate

“The project this year has been a joy to oversee.  The students have risen to a complex challenge and produced some outstanding work.  The mentors were fantastic; - they helped direct and up skill the students.  This has helped UTC Cambridge to fulfil their mission: to develop and equip our young people for employment.” Barry Cooper – UTC Cambridge

For more information about EES Applied, and how you can get involved, please contact Colette Byrne

Date published: 
June 16, 2017