As part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which starts today (3 November) and aims to change perceptions of engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is working with MPs and inspirational female engineering role models to tackle the engineering skills shortage.
This activity also supports today’s launch of the 2014 Engineering Skills: Perkins Review Progress Report, which gives an update of activity since last year’s report to promote the merits of an engineering career – as well as an overview of priorities for the year ahead.
Working with Teach First, the IET has recruited trailblazing young female engineers to visit a number of local schools to inspire young people, particularly girls, to consider a career in engineering. Their visits are also designed to improve teachers’ understanding of the diverse, exciting and creative range of careers available in modern engineering.
Separately, the IET is urging MPs nationwide to sign its IET Skills Pledge to encourage local businesses to work with schools and colleges in their constituencies as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers week.
Most MPs have a number of successful engineering businesses in their constituencies and can be very effective in influencing them to collaborate with schools and colleges to create a pipeline of future engineering talent.
The call follows results from the recent IET Skills Survey, which found that over half of the engineering employers surveyed felt that they should work more closely with education providers in order to tackle the engineering skills shortage.
The IET pledge also calls for MPs to encourage girls and boys to consider STEM careers, promote the value of vocational STEM subjects and promote STEM careers with parents.
IET president William Webb said: “The new Perkins Report, published today as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, shows some fantastic progress over the last year in increasing awareness of engineering as a challenging and rewarding option for young people. While this is very encouraging, the report also makes it clear that there is a lot of work still to be done and we must all – Government, employers, educators and professional bodies – continue in our commitment to meeting the challenge ahead.
“Engineering and science university applications have increased this year, but it’s important to ensure that these applications translate into future engineers.
“During 2014 Tomorrow’s Engineers Week the IET has chosen to focus particularly on some of the areas identified in the report for future improvement, such as encouraging schools and colleges to build stronger working relationships with local employers, and supporting teachers and tutors in schools and colleges to improve their understanding of the engineering sector,” he added.