Over 30 members of Parliament have pledged to support a national campaign to get more young people into engineering.
The Year of Engineering, announced last month and due to launch in January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged seven to 16, their parents and teachers. According to the government, 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.
At an event in Parliament yesterday, MPs from across the UK committed to supporting the campaign in their constituencies, with pledges including connecting schools with local engineering employers and encouraging businesses to take part in open doors events for schools and families.
'At the heart of economic success'
Minister for the year of engineering and transport skills minister John Hayes said: “If we are going to create a country fit to meet all new challenges, we need to train the next generation of highly-skilled British workers. Engineering and all it brings is at the heart of economic success and provides exciting opportunities of fulfilling careers through skills that will shape all our futures, but for too many employers a lack of skilled engineers is limiting growth.
"That's why I am delighted to see so many of my colleagues determined to promote engineering. Their determination and dedication, enthusiasm and engagement will help to make the year of engineering not only a year-long campaign but a lifelong success."
And the government envoy for the Year of Engineering Stephen Metcalfe MP said the value of engineering skills was "frequently underestimated, outdated perceptions of the profession are still widespread, and the industry continues to suffer from a lack of diversity in its workforce".
“The Year of Engineering aims to tackle these challenges, so it’s vital that the campaign is championed across government, parliament and industry. We know how much enthusiasm there is in all parts of the profession to encourage engineers of the future. We want this campaign to unite those ambitions, and I welcome these pledges of support from my fellow MPs which will be vital in helping to drive this across the country.”
The event was jointly hosted by government and the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET).