Global education initiative F1 in Schools launches in Rotterdam today, in a move hoped to boost the number of Dutch engineers.
The Hugo de Groot School and VKV City Racing Rotterdam organiser, Robert Heilbron, have joined forces for the new venture with Heilbron becoming the Netherlands licensee of F1 in Schools.
Supported by the City of Rotterdam, the Hugo de Groot School is the first school in the Netherlands to offer the programme within its curriculum.
Dutch licensee Robert Heilbron hopes the initiative will help improve the shortage of engineers in Holland.
“Everyone can see that the interest among youth in technical jobs is declining, which will result in a shortage of engineers in the Netherlands now and increasingly in the future. With the Rotterdam event we have shown that Formula 1 inspires youth.
“F1 in Schools is the linking pin and the optimal programme to generate interest for engineering and technology amongst youngsters. I hope more cities and the Dutch government will recognise that F1 in Schools is the educational programme the Netherlands needs at this moment.”
The initiative claims to be the largest global education initiative operating in over 40 countries and spanning five continents. The programme was introduced in 1999 in the UK, expanding internationally in 2002.
It now reaches thousands of students, from nine to 19 years old, benefiting from participation in the competition.
Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools, said he was confident the Netherlands move would be a success.
“As a country with a large and devoted Formula One fanbase, I am confident that F1 in Schools will quickly establish itself within the Netherlands as an exciting and fun initiative for students to be involved in.”