- The Arup Education Trust sponsors young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through secondary and tertiary education.
- The support combines financial assistance with mentoring from Arup employees to help them develop their skills.
- The Trust is committed to the advancement of women through education. At least half of all beneficiaries are female.
Education and skills are a big issue in South Africa. Secondary education often fails to develop students to the level required by tertiary institutions such as universities. There’s also a shortage of graduates bringing the right skills to careers in the built environment.
The Arup Education Trust, which owns 30% of Arup’s business in South Africa, aims to change this. The trust sponsors young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying maths and science at secondary school to prepare them for tertiary education and, potentially, for careers in the built environment. It also supports students pursing degrees in all aspects of the built environment.
Although Arup needs skilled graduates, the trust’s beneficiaries are under no obligation to work for the firm when they complete their studies. The trust provides funding to its beneficiaries but also mentorship from Arup staff to help them develop the skills they’ll need to pursue their chosen careers.
With the industry’s skills shortage meaning that Arup’s professionals face a heavy workload, it can be hard for them to find time to mentor on top of their day jobs. So the trust is always looking out for volunteers from within the firm – based either in South Africa or remotely around the world – to help mentor young people.
In addition, the trust is looking to partner with other organisations to secure permanent work placements and vacation work experience for beneficiaries. It’s also hoping to find partners to help provide equipment such as laptops and books, and training in areas such as soft skills.
2010 - Arup Education Trust launched
2015 - The trust has now supported 49 students, with 35 through secondary school and 14 through tertiary education
The trust gives beneficiaries hope, it shows them there is an organisation out there that believes they have the potential to work in the built environment.Hleziphi Mtshizana, trustee