Landmark campaign to inspire next generation

Posted on 06 Dec 2017 and read 244 times
Landmark campaign to inspire next generation The Government has announced that it will work with hundreds of industry partners to make 2018 the Year of Engineering, having pledged to work with them to offer a million ‘direct and inspiring’ experiences of engineering to young people throughout the year.

Teaming up with a diverse range of partners — covering everything from technology, health-care and food production to energy, culture and transport — the campaign aims to ‘galvanise industry, MPs, parents and teachers’ in a national push to inspire the next generation of engineers via activities that will include large-sale out-reach programmes, such as: a £1 million investment from Shell in the interactive Tomorrow’s Engineers Energy Quest programme for thousands of schoolchildren; a children’s book on engineering from publisher Usborn; and behind the scenes tours for families.

The campaign will also highlight the role that individuals can play — from parents helping children with their maths homework or enrolling them in a coding club, to engineers from all backgrounds sharing their experience and advice in schools or via social media.

The commitment comes as the UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year, with half of the companies in the sector saying that the shortage is having a significant impact on productivity and growth.

By bringing young people from all backgrounds face to face with engineering experiences and role models, the campaign aims to showcase the creativity and innovation of engineering careers and widen the pool of young people who consider the profession, diversifying a workforce that is 91% male and 94% white.

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Engineering is one of the most productive sectors in our economy, but a lack of young people entering the profession is damaging growth.

"With major investment being made in infrastructure and new technologies that aim to improve the way we travel, work and live, it’s crucial to the nation’s success that more people join the profession.

“The Year of Engineering is our commitment to transforming perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and their teachers. We need people from all backgrounds to see the creativity, opportunity and value of engineering careers.”

Education Minister Anne Milton said: “As Minister for Skills, I want to see young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to pursue rewarding careers and jobs in engineering, whether they choose an academic or technical route.

"Through the Year of Engineering, we will work with businesses to inspire the next generation of world-class engineers. For our country to thrive and prosper with the highly skilled individuals that businesses need, we must work with employers to tackle the skills gap.”

Peter Finegold, head of education at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “We hope that by working with industry and academia, the Year of Engineering will help to show the public the vital role that engineering plays in society.

"From developing more-efficient transport through to developing medical equipment, engineers around the country are working to improve the world we live in. Given the chronic shortage of graduate and apprentice engineers, we especially hope that this campaign will play a key role in support of the imminent Industrial Strategy white paper.”

The Year of Engineering begins in January. More information can be found on the Web site (www.dft.gov.uk/year-of-engineering-2018).

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