There is a skill shortage in the engineering industry and due to the aging workforce, this is only going to get worse. Every year engineers are retiring but there is not a sufficient number of youngsters to fill the gap; there is currently a shortfall of 20,000 graduates every year. The future of the UK engineering industry relies upon a new, young workforce, well trained and knowledgeable to enable us to sustain and grow the industry for future generations. Without intervention, the industry is in genuine jeopardy.
This is why 2018 has become officially The Year of Engineering; a pioneering new scheme aimed at inspiring young people into the profession.
The government driven, cross party campaign will see ministers working directly with engineering companies (including Innomech), industry experts, businesses, schools and youth groups. This coordinated effort will demonstrate the opportunities available in engineering, changing the way young people think about this line of work and opening their mind to the prospect of taking this path themselves.
The scheme also hopes to address the lack of diversity in the sector; only 9% of engineers are women and just 6% of non-white ethnicity.
Despite misconceptions, the UK engineering industry is one of the most productive and the sector provides a wealth of prospects over a wide range of disciplines. To encourage young people to make different career choices, the first challenge is to tackle their perceptions.
The numbers do show a lean towards a positive trend after statistics in Engineering UK’s 2017 report show that there has been an increase young people who have said they would “consider a career in engineering.” The statistics show that these curious 11-16 year olds increased from 40% – 51% in four years. Although this is interesting, that same number have not actually been entering the profession, proving that more needs to be done to get them through those engineering doors!
Some of the exciting projects as part of the Year of Engineering include…
- Engineering children’s books
- Interactive exhibitions at museums
- Robot clubs set up in primary schools
Sir James Dyson will provide opportunities for young people to use engineering principles to solve real world problems.
“Engineers – whether they are working on cutting-edge technology in aerospace, energy or artificial intelligence – are vital to the lifeblood of our economy. We want to show young people and their parents the immense creativity, opportunity and value of the profession. By bringing them face to face with engineering role models and achievements we can send a clear message that engineering careers are a chance for all young people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or social background, to shape the future of this country and have a real impact on the lives of those around them.”- Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling.
Here at Innomech we support any campaign that inspires the youth of today and protects the sustainability of the engineering industry in the UK. We see for ourselves everyday how dynamic and exciting it is to be part of an innovative environment and we want to see this continue in the UK for many years to come. Look out for more exciting news from Innomech on how we will be supporting this project.