Inspiring the next generation of engineers

Posted on 28 Sep 2017 and read 311 times
Inspiring the next generation of engineersInfluential people from the worlds of construction, manufacturing, transport and education have pledged to tackle the engineering skills gap as part of a year-long Government-led campaign.

The Year of Engineering 2018 will see Government join forces with a host of partners to give thousands of young people from seven to 16 years old “direct and inspiring experiences” of engineering, challenging traditional perceptions and tackling a lack of diversity in the industry.

At an event at the London Science Museum earlier this month, ministers welcomed pledges of support from more than 130 partners — including Shell, Rolls-Royce, Usborne and Tata Consultancy Services — and called on other organisations in all sectors to get involved.

While engineering makes a major contribution to the UK economy, a shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates every year is having a significant impact on productivity and growth.

Tackling this skills gap and encouraging more young people to enter the profession is a core part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy; it will be increasingly important, with growing investment in new technology and landmark infrastructure projects.

The campaign also aims to widen the pool of young people entering the profession, diversifying a workforce which is currently 94% white and 91% male.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, said: “Opportunities for the next generation of engineers are everywhere, from major infrastructure projects like HS2 and investment in shipbuilding to advances in technology and healthcare.

"There’s never been a better time for young people from all backgrounds to consider a career in engineering, and for Government and industry to join forces to tackle the shortage of engineering graduates and lack of diversity in the workforce.

“The Year of Engineering will unify and build on activity already happening across the industry, supporting partners to reach more people and driving a national conversation.

"Only by working together can we offer a coherent and clear message to young people about the value of engineering and the breadth of opportunity that’s on offer.”

Hayaatun Sillem, deputy chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, welcomed the campaign, saying: “The Year of Engineering provides a unique opportunity for the engineering community to have greater collective impact than has been possible before, showing more young people that engineering is for everyone.

“We look forward to building on the platform it will provide with our on-going work to change perceptions about engineering.

"Closing the engineering skills gap is a long-term challenge, but we hope that the Year of Engineering is going to be a real clarion call to the profession to help inspire the next generation of engineers.”

A Year of Engineering ‘animation’ is available at the Web site (www.dft.gov.uk/year-of-engineering-2018/resources).

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