Government launches Year of Engineering campaign to inspire the next generation

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:
Schoolchildren meeting engineers at an Inspiring the Future event organised by Year of Engineering partner Education and Employers.

A pioneering campaign to transform the way young people see engineering and boost numbers entering the profession has been launched today.

Ministers from across government are joining forces with engineers, industry experts and hundreds of businesses to change perceptions around engineering – and highlight the scale of opportunity that careers in the industry hold for young people in the UK.

Skills Minister, Anne Milton said: “The Year of Engineering gives us a great opportunity to work together with business to inspire a new generation of world class engineers. We want to build the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that we need for a growing economy, as highlighted in the government’s Industrial Strategy.”

On its website, the government said: “2018 is officially the Year of Engineering and will see a national drive in all corners of the country to inspire the young people who will shape our future.”

Engineering is one of the most productive sectors in the UK, but a shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates every year is damaging growth. There is also widespread misunderstanding of engineering among young people and their parents and a lack of diversity in the sector – the workforce is 91% male and 94% white.

The campaign is aimed at filling those gaps and changing misconceptions, and will see government and around 1,000 partners deliver a million inspiring experiences of engineering for young people, parents and teachers.

Activities will include:

  • a Siemens See Women roadshow aimed at inspiring women, including more black, Asian and minority ethnic girls, into pursuing STEM careers
  • a children’s book on engineering from Usborne
  • the Science Museum and London Transport Museum will be capturing children’s imaginations with interactive exhibitions
  • schools will get the chance to go behind the scenes at Airbus to meet engineers working on the Mars Rover
  • Thales in the UK will be inspiring inventors of the future with robot clubs in primary schools
  • Sir James Dyson, through the Dyson Institute, the James Dyson Foundation and the James Dyson Award, will continue to invest in inspiring young engineers by providing opportunities to apply engineering principles to projects that solve real world problems

Crossrail chair Sir Terry Morgan said: “The Year of Engineering will be a fantastic opportunity to inspire others to take a fresh look at engineering and show the range of opportunities there are for training and jobs in this sector.”

Mark Richardson, Ocado chief operating officer, added: “Encouraging more young people to enter the engineering profession is essential to ensure the growth and development of new technologies and businesses in the UK. At Ocado we build the world’s most advanced automated warehouses for online grocery, and we hope our involvement in this campaign will offer young people from diverse backgrounds a real insight into the exciting and rewarding life of an engineer.”

Peter Finegold, head of education policy at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said about the Year of Engineering launch: “The Year of Engineering is an opportunity for industry, Government and the wider engineering community to work together to reach out to young people.

“We hope it will build on the work we are already doing to inspire young people about engineering, such as Bloodhound SSC and the Engineering Education Grant Scheme, run in conjunction with the IET, which funds fun engineering education projects.”

All week, engineers, businesses, schools and universities will be marking the launch of the campaign by celebrating the positive impact of engineering.


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