Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: supports getting more engineering employers involved in local schools

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has pledged his support to help fix the engineering skills shortage. He pledged to encourage employers in South Basildon and East Thurrock to work with schools to give young people work experience opportunities and inspirational information about the many exciting careers in engineering and technology.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “We have now reached a point where more than half of employers are having difficulty recruiting the staff they need for their businesses to expand. It is vital that we support the inclusion of employers into our schools to help inspire our young people to consider some of the great career choices available to them.”

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.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “Initiatives such as this are crucial in bringing new job opportunities to our young people, and are a benefit for all those involved. Not only can we inspire interest in new careers and opportunities, but we can also encourage more innovation and more employment in business through new these new recruitment strategies.

It is also incredible that still just six percent of engineers are female. There is absolutely no reason why this should be the case, and for attitudes and prospects to change, we need to start early”.

IET Chief Executive, Nigel Fine, explained: “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.”