Bugs, spaghetti and gritters - all part of filling engineering's skills gap

Civil engineers in Darlington have used Bring Your Child To Work Day to support Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, by introducing youngsters to the world of work.

Staff and youngsters at Bring Your Child To Work Day
Staff and youngsters at Bring Your Child To Work Day

A dozen children of staff at A-one+, on Valley Street North, spent the day taking part in a range of activities that give an overview of various aspects of the civil engineering and highways industries.

The event was organised by Jenna Allen, the Chair of ICE North East Graduates & Students Committee, who is an Assistant Engineer at A-one+.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is aimed at engaging young people with the industry to inspire them to consider careers in engineering and help to fill the 1.82 million roles the industry needs to fill by 2022.

Starting with a session learning the importance of health and safety on site, including a “hunt the hazard” quiz, the youngsters moved on to learning about healthy eating, the environment and a chance to build their own bug hotel.

Plant machinery, including gritters and traffic management vehicles were brought in, before some competitive team work, constructing paper tube bridges and structures made from spaghetti.

Jenna Allen said: “Tomorrow’s Engineers Week runs from Monday, November 2, to Friday, November 6, but we chose to take advantage of half term to have a great, fun day that educates young people in a way they find interesting and relevant.

“The industry needs to make real efforts to engage with young people and promote the exciting prospects of a career as an engineer, because we need to fill almost two million roles, nationally, in the next seven years.

“This is one of the key remits of the Institution of Civil Engineers, alongside supporting existing engineers in their careers and professional development, so it has been great to deliver such direct engagement with the young people so close to our staff.

“It has made Bring Your Child To Work Day about something much more than simply answering the question of ‘what does mummy or daddy do?’”