I'm pledging my 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 starts 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.
I've joined more than 30 MPs who made pledges to support the campaign in my constituency. The project was launched at the beginning of December by the Department for Transport 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. Our pledges of support 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.
This is a fantastic and much needed initiative. Milton Keynes has a fast growing economy, particularly in the new technology sector and we need to make sure we have the workforce that can keep that growing. Over the year I will be visiting schools and other organisations across the city to support the project and ensure we have an innovative and talented workforce for the future.”
To find out more, visit the Year of Engineering partner website, www.dft.gov.uk/year-of-engineering-2018 or follow the campaign on Twitter @YoEgovuk.