ICE North East is calling on industry to work alongside education to help stem the skills gap within engineering, by getting involved with Tomorrow's Engineers Week (TEW).
TEW (6-10 November) is an initiative led by the engineering community as a platform for employers and industry professionals to work with schools to inspire the next generation of engineers.
It is estimated that there will be demand in engineering organisations for 265,000 skilled entrants annually through to 2024, of which around 186,000 people will be needed in engineering occupations, to meet both replacement and expansion demand.
According to the Engineering UK Report 2017, 19% of total UK employment comes from people working in registered engineering enterprises, while 15 of 32 occupations open for skilled immigration to fill UK shortages are in engineering.
Additionally, the overall GCSE pass rate fell by two percentage points in 2016, with fewer than 145,000 entries for each single science subjects – less than half the number of combined science entries (408,000).
45% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educators believe their pupils know what people in engineering do, but less than a third of young people claim to do so, as engineering is the area of work relating to STEM that they know least about.
Penny Marshall, ICE North East Regional Director, said: "The fact is, we are facing a skills shortage within engineering and more needs to be done to educate young people in STEM subjects to inspire the next generation of engineers. The demand for talented individuals is growing and we, as engineering professionals and educators, need to embrace and drive forward initiatives like TEW.
"ICE continues to work with educators and influencers within industry and TEW is an excellent week-long celebration of the profession, which provides young people with a taste of the ever-changing and exciting world of engineering. Collectively, we need to be able to ensure we demonstrate to both children and parents that civil engineering offers a great range of interesting and creative careers."
Over the course of TEW, ICE is engaging with schools and educational institutions for a number of events aimed at young people, including:
Schools bridge building challenge
Schoolchildren will gather at Churchill Community College to take part in bridge building activities, giving them an insight into industry.
Date: Thursday, 9 November
Address: Churchill Community College Churchill Street, Wallsend, NE28 7TN
'Meet the Engineer' Event at the Centre for Life in Newcastle
Open to the public, ICE North East ambassadors and those from education will be engaging with young people to build structures, including paper tube bridges.
Date: Saturday, 11 November
Address: Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4EP