A career in engineering offers the chance to innovate and make a real difference – Transport Minister

Posted On: 
13th December 2017

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) launched the Government’s Year of Engineering alongside its Skills & Demand in Industry 2017 Survey at a parliamentary event with speeches from Transport Minister John Hayes and the Government’s Envoy for the Year of Engineering Stephen Metcalfe.

Transport Minister John Hayes MP
Credit: 
IET

On a packed Commons Terrace last Wednesday, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) launched the Government’s Year of Engineering alongside its Skills & Demand in Industry 2017 Survey, which looks at the skills challenges faced by the engineering sector.

IET Chief Executive, Nigel Fine, told the room that there has never been a better time for young people to get involved in the sector. However, Fine pointed to the well-established skills gap within engineering and said the IET, through its ongoing campaigns was committed to addressing this issue, adding:

“In order to deliver on the skills challenge we must ensure we have enough people with the practical and technical skills required by industry, and recruit widely from a diverse pool of potential talent, bringing in all sections of society”.

Over 30 MPs signed the pledge to support the campaign, which includes connecting schools with local engineering employers and encouraging business to take part in open doors events for schools and families.

The Minister of State at the Department for Transport, John Hayes, then took to the stage. Discussing the importance of engineering to the future of the country in the context of the industrial Strategy, Hayes said he was determined to make the Year of Engineering focus on attracting young people into the sector, stating: “New skills, new jobs and new prospects will turn vision to reality, if we show young people, their parents and their teachers what engineering can mean: a career in engineering offers creativity, variety, the chance to innovate and so make a real difference”.

The Government’s Envoy for the Year of Engineering, former Chair of the Science and Technology Committee Stephen Metcalfe, rounded up the formal part of the event by saying the campaign would harmonise efforts across government, parliament and industry to encourage the engineers of the future. He said:

“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”.

Teams who have taken part in the IET’s Faraday Challenge and First Lego League education programmes were also in attendance explaining their projects, with Secretary of State Chris Grayling chatting with some of the engineers of the future.