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How our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme can support students and apprentices to achieve their career goals

If you’re an engineering student or apprentice and you think you may be neurodiverse, we may be able to offer you support through our brand-new Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme. Find out more in this special blog.

Signs you may be neurodiverse

Three months into my placement year, I noticed that I was really struggling to engage with my work. I felt sleepy and lethargic all the time, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and my attention was all over the place.

– Mikaela, engineering student

At Foothold, we know that being an engineering student or apprentice can be a very stressful time.

Working hard to get the results you want so you can secure a good job and build a rewarding career can take its toll on you emotionally, financially and practically.

But do you ever find yourself struggling with certain activities and tasks, that your fellow students seem to find easy?

Perhaps you often find it hard to keep up with your workload. Or maybe you’re having difficulty with general life things, such as organising yourself, or managing your time?

When you encounter difficulties like this, it can be even harder to deal with the day-to-day challenges that come with being a student or apprentice. You might be worried that you’ll struggle to make it through to the end of your course, and ultimately achieve your personal career goals.

However, it could also be a sign that you may be neurodivergent, like engineering student Mikaela.

What being neurodivergent could mean for you

I felt so relieved when the diagnosis came through. What I was experiencing actually had a name, so I might finally have some answers!

Fortunately, thanks to support from Foothold, Mikaela was able to access a diagnosis for ADHD and get support to help her get back on track with her studies.

However, there are many neurodiverse engineering students and apprentices who never make it into the workforce, due to a lack of support and opportunities. You may even be worrying that this might happen to you.

It is also often difficult for people who believe they are neurodiverse to access a diagnosis due to stigma, cost and extensive waiting lists, which further restricts the support available to them.

But, you’re not alone. Did you know that there are estimated to be around 820,000 neurodiverse engineers working in the industry, just in the UK?

With the right support, guidance and opportunities, neurodiverse engineering students and apprentices can go on to build a successful and rewarding career, alongside their neurotypical peers.

How Foothold can support you if you think you may be a neurodiverse engineering student or apprentice

I remember feeling so surprised and quite excited when Foothold confirmed that they could support me, as I’d assumed I wouldn’t be eligible for support with what seemed like such a ‘niche’ issue. But how wrong I was!

This is why Foothold have recently launched their ground-breaking Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme, designed to help engineering students and apprentices like you to reach their full potential.

If you believe you may have a neurodiverse condition, and would like to explore getting a formal diagnosis, you can apply for tailored direct support, including:

  1. Support to access a diagnosis of a neurodiverse condition
  2. Financial support to help you if you are struggling to make ends meet, or to fund assistive equipment or resources
  3. Counselling support to help you understand what a diagnosis means for you
  4. Opportunities to access careers guidance, coaching and mentoring to prepare you for life as a professional engineer.

Eligibility for the Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme

To be eligible for the Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme, you must:

  • Be on your first engineering course
  • Agree to the programme terms and conditions



Start #EngineeringYourWay today

To find out more about our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme and how it can benefit you, join our Differently Wired Hub for free today. You can also read Mikaela’s full story on the hub too



If you already have a formal diagnosis of a neurodivergent condition, you will not be eligible to apply for the programme. However, you may qualify for other types of support from Foothold. See how else they can support you here.

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