Many of you would have seen across EEF’s social media activity that 2018 is officially the Year of Engineering. It is a cross-government campaign aimed to raise the profile of engineering amongst 7-16 year olds. Changing the perception of engineering amongst students, but also the wider public, is vital to ensuring that we have the engineers of the future. Latest statistics show that engineering companies need 265,000 skilled entrants each year between now and 2024.
So why does Year of Engineering matter?
It matters because Engineering is behind everything you can see and touch, from smartphones and hair styling products, to the lights we switch on and the shoes we walk in. It relates to everything around us but often young people don’t understand what engineering is about and as a result don’t understand what they need to do to get into the profession.
Who wouldn’t want to work in such a dynamic industry such as manufacturing as an engineer! Don’t let anyone tell you that we don’t make anything here in the UK anymore. For any James Bond fans out there the UK is home to the Aston Martin. It was in Staffordshire that the UK started making marmite and the UK created Cadbury’s Dairy Milk! We make everything from Dr Marten Shoes to Henry Hoovers and even the 2012 London Olympic Cauldron.
It matters because 72% of manufacturers have reported a concern in accessing the skills they need for their business. We need more young people entering the profession and as our latest skills survey shows, manufacturers are keen to recruit different types of engineers for their business.
Manufacturers are looking for the next generation of makers, creators and innovators. They are looking for young people who are inventive yet practical; can think out-side the box but still solve complex problems; who have the ability to learn and adapt but still value diversity and difference. A careers strategy that breaks down the barrier to entering the profession is integral.
It matters because engineers will play an important role in the changing face of the manufacturing industry. The fourth industrial revolution is underway and it will make automation, artificial intelligence, better use of data and increasing productivity all even more important. To successfully navigate this period of growth we need new, innovative engineers to be those future leaders. So there is no better time to become an engineer and use those skills to shape the future of manufacturing.
EEF Technology Centre, Aston Birmingham
Finally, it matters because engineering and what an engineer does in the UK today has changed – the Year of Engineering will help to get this message across to young people, and more widely. EEF will be supporting this cross-government campaign throughout the year. Look out for more blogs and tweets from the People and Skills team, and visit our Year of Engineering page!
Share your stories about how you inspired an engineer and take a picture with the #YoE pledge below, with us @EEF_Economists #inspireanengineer #YoE #UKmfg