Engineering Development Trust

The Engineering Development Trust is a nationwide educational charity with over 35 years’ experience.

School girl writing on flipchart

The goal of the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) is to get students excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. They engage young people aged 7-18 years in STEM subjects and career opportunities. They work with over 1,000 schools and education institutions and collaborates with over 275 industry partners.  

The Industrial Cadets accredited programme is central to EDT’s work. It connects young people with industry and role models, to make informed choices about their future while developing the skills they need. The programme starts at Challenger level with STEM taster activities. It progresses through to Platinum and Platinum Leaders, that includes a 9–12-month paid work placement. One of EDT’s key goals is improving equality and diversity in STEM. They do this by targeting under-represented and disadvantaged groups. We were impressed by the evident progress EDT are making towards this goal. When EDT applied to us, 49% of their Industrial Cadet alumni were female (increased from 43% the previous year) and 38% were from global majority backgrounds (up from 29%). 

Funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation has been vital in enabling us to invest in the development of Industrial Cadets. In the first year of our current two-year grant, around 40,000 Industrial Cadet experiences have been delivered, with young people demonstrating and celebrating their achievements through Industrial Cadets awards. We’ve been able to expand the network of schools, employers and volunteers who are fundamental to our outreach work, and we look forward to continuing to support more young people.

EDT reacted swiftly to the pandemic. They built an engaging online platform which helped them rapidly expand their reach. They offer engagement in growth industries such as environmental sustainability and Artificial Intelligence. EDT has ambitions to have Cadets in every school in the UK. They hope that Industrial Cadets will be recognised for building employability skills, in the same way as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards are recognised for teamwork. 

When EDT applied to us, around half of their funding came from their business partners. They were concerned that these partners would be facing reduced income as a result of the pandemic and Brexit. We were reassured to see that EDT was building a strong pipeline of funding sources. We were happy to make a grant to support the growth of its Industrial Cadet programme. 

Find out more about the types of grants we make