View from Westminster 16th February 2018

The 15th of January saw the launch of the Year of Engineering. This is the start of a crucial initiative which will see the 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 is a timely campaign as engineering and technology employers are coming under increasing pressure to bridge skills gaps in their industries. The UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year which is having a significant impact on 50% of companies within this sector.It is vital that we encourage and inspire the next generation to consider the opportunities provided by a career in engineering. It is also important to dispel the myth that engineering is dull or involves mucky overalls when there are so many different types of engineering roles available. Engineering as a profession is too often undervalued and misunderstood, with only a third of parents knowing what people in engineering do. The Year of Engineering will showcase the profession 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.

Across Worcestershire, engineers, businesses, schools and organisations are supporting the campaign, and the Worcestershire Skills show, the largest careers and skills event in the county will take place on March 7th with a STEM promoting theme. Nationally more than 1000 partners have also signed up to support the Year of Engineering, including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail.

By harnessing the talent of our young generation and introducing them to a sector full of potential career opportunities we will ensure that we have a highly skilled and competitive industry fit for the future.