Diversity & Inclusion in Motorsport
The Blair Project is a trailblazing social enterprise based in Manchester which taps into the climate change activism of urban youth, by providing opportunities for them to participate in the green tech revolution through building, racing and accelerating innovations in electric go karts. We are the only organisation in the UK doing this.
The Blair Project and its partners Manchester Science Park and Bruntwood have been awarded £4 million of central government funding to create a new Innovation Activities Hub in Manchester (MIAH) to provide rapid upskilling, reskilling and retraining of local residents and fast track them into hard-to-fill occupations requiring specialist technical skills as part of Greater Manchesters’ post COVID recovery plan. https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/shovel-ready-greater-manchester-building-projects-boosted-by-54m-of-government-funding/
Target groups are NEETs, Younger workers (18-24) eligible for the Kickstart programme, Professionals/Executives (25-55) who find themselves out of work because of the pandemic but are willing to upskill and reskill to take up hard-to-fill occupations requiring specialist technical skills within the clean growth, digital and advanced manufacturing sectors where skills shortages are acute.
Founded in 2014, The Blair Project is the story of two Black teenagers Nile and Blair Henry, who set out to challenge the elitism of motorsport and make the sport greener, more affordable, accessible and inclusive for everyone. The inspirational brothers had to overcome tremendous barriers and disappointments along the way. It taught them to be resilient, resourceful and persistent.
Our mission is to empower underrepresented young people to become the army of innovators, technicians and engineers needed to drive rapid technological advances in low carbon technologies to save the planet.
We believe fundamentally that the world is made stronger and more powerful through the lens of diversity!
Through our ProtoEV STEM Challenge, youth teams (13 -19) learn how to convert used petrol go karts into adrenaline-pumping e-karts, which they get to test, race and experiment with advanced technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, and graphene battery technologies to improve vehicle performance, efficiency and range. The retrofitting of petrol and diesel vehicles using renewable energy technologies will be critical for reducing global carbon emissions by 2040 – or sooner!
Working alongside industry partners working at the cutting edge of innovations, ProtoEV also leverages the world class research expertise of our North West universities to create smooth pathways for participants to progress into apprenticeships, jobs or further or higher education.
In the first initiative of its kind, we’ve teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Fuel Cell Innovation Centre as part of their HySchool programme to incorporate hydrogen fuel cell education into our vocational skills training programmes.
FUTURE STEM WORKFORCE
Our mission is to use the power of hydrogen karting to engage, enthuse and inspire more young people to pursue careers as technicians, engineers, scientists and innovators in green technologies so we can accelerate the pace of change. Diversity in STEM is one of our highest priorities.
We believe in the power and importance of clean transport to reduce the impact of climate change. We have a shared responsibility to our planet and each other to speed up the shift to low carbon technologies. That’s why we’re collaborating with international partners in China and the USA as part of a new bold global remit to play our part in leading the world to zero carbon.
SPONSOR A PROTOEV TEAM
If you’re a like minded company, organisation or change maker who is passionate about decarbonisation as well as developing a diverse pipeline of talent for emerging technologies, we welcome you to get involved.
What We Do
– Nile Henry, Chief Executive Officer
Turbo Charging Aspirations, Attainment And Achievement
Bridging The Skills Gap
ProtoEV aims to ensure that young people, and their parents and teachers have a full understanding of the numerous job and apprenticeship opportunities that need to be filled in the engineering and technology sectors.
New Recruits Needed Per Year
Shortfall Per Year
A Leader In The Industry
We are at the forefront of plans to create a new advanced manufacturing hub in the Manchester City Region to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies by manufacturing SMEs. Innovate UK funded the feasibility study.
A team of KS4 students at Newbridge learning community recently participated in the Proto GP (Blair project), with amazing success. They were given a unique and ground breaking opportunity to participate in this highly engaging, motivating and cutting edge STEM initiative. As a result they were the first in the UK to pilot designing, making and trialling a Go-Kart using 3D printing techniques. The impact on their self-esteem, confidence and perseverance to complete tasks has been extremely positive. It has without doubt broadened their horizons in terms of future career prospects that they previously would not have considered possible. I cannot speak more highly of the Project and the team who run it and have no hesitation in recommending it as a brilliant scheme in reaching young people who may not have had the privileges that are afforded to others.