Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has pledged her support for a national campaign to get more young people into engineering, joining government and industry in a united effort to tackle a major skills gap.
The Year of Engineering, which launches in January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.
MPs made pledges to support the campaign at an event in Parliament in December. The event was jointly hosted by government and the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), marking the publication of its annual Skills Survey report – which looks at the skills challenges faced by engineering and technology employers in the UK. Pledges of support from Caroline and other MPs will play an important role in helping to tackle this skills challenge.
The commitment comes as the UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year, with half of companies in the sector saying 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.
More than 350 partners have signed up to support the Year of Engineering, including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail. Teaming up with partners from many different sectors, the Government will deliver a year of UK-wide school visits, exhibitions and open doors events – all aimed at encouraging young people and their parents to take a closer look at engineering.
Commenting Caroline said:
"I am pleased to support the Year of Engineering, this campaign aims to inspire a new and more diverse generation of engineers into all sectors of the profession, challenging stereotypes and showcasing the variety, creativity and opportunity of engineering careers.
At a national and local level, there is a huge amount of incredible activity already happening across the industry to encourage young people into the sector. Locally we have had some fantastic success with the new CEMAST which has trained 1000s of engineers and works alongside local businesses.
The Year of Engineering will unify and amplify these efforts, bringing government and industry together to give young people a million direct and inspiring experiences of engineering throughout 2018."
To find out more, visit https://www.dft.gov.uk/year-of-engineering-2018/.