‘WE NEED MORE ENGINEERING employers involved in local schools’ – Gwynne

iet receptionAndrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has pledged his support to help fix the engineering skills shortage.

He pledged to encourage employers in Denton and Reddish to work with schools to give young people work experience opportunities, and inspirational information about the many exciting careers in engineering and technology.

All 650 MPs were invited to the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) parliamentary reception to inspire the next generation of engineers on 10 September. They were asked to urge employers in their constituencies to work proactively with local schools and colleges to inspire more young people to become engineers as part of the wider STEM curriculum. The IET’s 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.

The motivation for the pledge comes in response to findings from the IET’s 2014 Engineering and Technology Skills and Demand in Industry survey, which indicate that 53 per cent of employers believe they should get more involved with schools, colleges and universities to help change the perception of engineering among young people.

IET Chief Executive, Nigel Fine, said:

“Demand for engineers in the UK remains high. We need 87,000 new engineers each year for the next decade, so there is a critical need to do more to promote engineering as an appealing career choice to young people.

“It is encouraging to see from our survey that over half of engineering employers recognise that they have a crucial role to play here – as well as in helping to shape the curriculum so that young people enter the world of work with the skills that employers want.

“MPs are ideally placed to help us capitalise on this opportunity by helping to get more employers involved with the education system at a local level so that we produce a talent pipeline that can sustain a thriving UK economy.”

The IET’s survey also highlights consistently high demand for engineers but that other findings from the IET’s Skills and Demand in Industry survey show that:

  • More than half of employers are having difficulties recruiting the staff they need for their businesses to expand.
  • Just six per cent of engineers are female
  • 59 per cent of companies indicated concerns that a shortage of engineers would be a threat to their businesses
  • 44 per cent of engineering, IT and technical recruits do not meet the employer’s expected levels of skills
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