ICE’s education and skills work praised in parliamentary debate

Alan Brown, member of Parliament for Kilmarnock and Loudoun highlighted the work at the Institution in a debate on the Future of Engineering Skills and Design Technology Education

The Bridges to Schools programme inspires and educates students about the varied range of careers available to them
The Bridges to Schools programme inspires and educates students about the varied range of careers available to them

The 90 minute Westminster Hall debate saw a number of MP's discuss a range of subjects relating to engineering skills, who overwhelmingly supported the notion that the skills shortage in engineering requires a much greater emphasis on take up of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects by young people who are in education. ICE has long been involved with encouraging young people to enter careers in the built environment industry, and this was recognised by the Rt. Hon Alan Brown who told MP's:

"As a civil engineer, I am a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, which has developed some fantastic initiatives over the years that aim to inspire the next generation. In Scotland, outreach activity reached more than 5,000 pupils in 2015 alone. That activity includes the Bridges to Schools programme, which is a hands-on activity for primary year 6 and 7 pupils, enabling them to build a 12-metre long cable bridge. They build the bridge, and then they are able to walk on it, understand the loading on it, and deconstruct it. It is about teamwork, promotion of engineering and letting them understand that wider career."

The annual Bridges to School programme this year ran from 27 January to 3 March with a number of senior civil engineers visiting the schools to inspire and educate students about the varied range of careers available to them. ICE will also heavily involved in this year's Big Bang Fair, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths in the UK.

Rt. Hon Brown also spoke about ICE's involvement with STEMNET, who run the UK's only network of STEM Ambassadors. He said:

"STEMNET works with schools, colleges and STEM employers to enable young people to meet inspiring role models, understand the real-world applications of STEM subjects and experience hands-on activities."

You can find out more about a career in civil engineering, from the Careers and Professional Development section of our website.

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