Mercedes announces summer school scheme in F1 diversity push


Mercedes has announced a partnership with the Sutton Trust in a bid to provide new employment opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds


The Mercedes f1 team will now provide work placements for young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds


For most people, a summer holiday job means working in fast-food, fruit-picking or packing boxes in a warehouse – not contributing in the factory where world champion Formula 1 cars are produced and then raced by the sport’s most successful-ever driver.

But that very scenario will be offered by Mercedes after the announcement of a new development in its Accelerate 25 equality initiative.

The Brackley-based squad has unveiled a new partnership with the Sutton Trust, providing work placements for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds in a bid in accelerate social mobility.

In 2020 the reigning champions announced Accelerate 25, a five-year programme aimed increasing diversity in F1 – now the link-up with Sutton Trust will provide apprenticeship opportunities and summer schools as part of this.

The team will now host Sutton students at educational summer schools in which participants can interact and learn from Mercedes staff in the factory and at engineering workshops, as well as holding “university insight sessions” along with both organisations working together to host team members at panel debates.

Related article

The Accelerate 25 programme was announced by Mercedes at the end of the 2020 season “after a considerable amount of study, research and work […] to deepen our understanding in this area and develop our culture and practices,” with the target for at least 25% of all new starters at our team to come from under-represented groups.”

This came six months after the Hamilton Commission was launched by the seven-time champion Lewis, which after a year of research made ten recommendations, including calling “on those in leadership positions to work harder to show Black children that STEM subjects, engineering and motorsport ARE for them, and to excite them about the opportunities that they offer.”

In addition to this F1 has announced its own diversity and inclusion programme, with ten scholarships put on offer across six universities.

Now Mercedes has further added to its push with Sutton. The Trust was set up by Sir Steven Lampl, a Viennese immigrant, educated as a child in the UK before a successful career in private equity, who then set out on mission in later life to ensure others from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds as himself could get the same opportunities.

“I am delighted to welcome the Sutton Trust as the newest partner for our Accelerate 25 programme,” said Mercedes team’s Chief Paul Mills.

“Working together, we hope to enable talented young people to take the next step in progressing their educational ambitions and careers, hopefully encouraging many of these students into the STEM fields through their experiences and interactions with our team. There is a significant amount of work to do to bridge the education gap for those from disadvantaged groups, and I very much hope the work we do with the Sutton Trust will pave a way for more young people to access a high-quality education.”