Ministers are hoping that the pounds 10m, three-year scheme will counter the trend towards well- qualified students choosing courses in the arts and humanities rather than in engineering.
The bursaries will be administered by the Engineering Council, providing extra fuEnds for up to 2,000 students.
Starting in September next year, they will be paid to engineering students who have gained THER write errorat least two As and a B grade at A-level, or the equivalent in other recognised qualifications.
John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, announced the new scheme at a meeting of the Engineering Employers' Federation in London. He urged employers to alert students to their increasingly competitive starting salaries for engineering graduates.
The average salary paid to a typical 21-year-old engineering graduate last year was pounds 12,800, with some companies offering up to pounds 13,900.
Average earnings for chartered engineers generally rose to pounds 31,800.
Mr Patten also urged employers to target women, and to publicise high-quality careers in engineering.
Denis Filer, director-general of the Engineering Council, said that he expected the bursaries would 'attract high calibre people, much needed by the profession and by industry'.
The council will run an awareness campaign, as part of the scheme, to 'enhance the image of engineering as a worthwhile, rewarding and challenging career'.Reuse content