Tomorrow's Engineers Week shines the spotlight on engineering careers

Last week saw a host of activities take place across the country to encourage schoolchildren to take up a career in the fascinating world of civil engineering.

Pupils are encouraged to think about the engineering that exists around them.
Pupils are encouraged to think about the engineering that exists around them.

ICE’s Regional Teams pulled out all the stops to ensure that Tomorrow’s Engineers Week which took place between 2 and 6 November, was a huge success.

The programme, which aims to bring engineering to life and get young people thinking about a career they may not have considered before, is a key annual fixture in ICE’s extensive Education and Inspiration programme.

Amongst the activities which took place was a workshop in Wandsworth led by ICE London, where Year 5 students at Swaffield Primary School were challenged to design and construct a shelter big enough for a group of six to fit into at the same time.

An ‘Engineering Extravaganza Day’ was organised by ICE Yorkshire and Humber, in association with IOM3, the IET, and IMechE. Schoolchildren from St John's Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate worked with practicing engineers to build replicas of a 4,000 mph vacuum tube train, a replica of supersonic vehicles and skyscrapers from Lego to explore how reduced space will affect civilisation.

Over a hundred and fifty 13 – 15 year olds from St Paul’s Girls, Swanshurst Girls, Eden Boys, Aston University Engineering Academy and Ninestiles school in Birmingham took part in a great gumball and marble run challenge at Innovation Birmingham’s bright and modern campus to provide interactive and fun activities for aspiring young engineers. Supporting the event alongside ICE West Midlands were Network Rail and Rolls Royce who gave a hands-on demonstration of a fuel metering unit.

In Darlington, a dozen children of staff at A-one+, an Integrated Highway Services company, spent the day taking part in a range of activities. 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.

Joanna Anderson who is ICE North West Chair’s apprentice, collaborated with ICE on a special song for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2015. Joanna’s song, which aims to reach out to and inspire the next generation of engineers in a fun way, and challenge outdated perceptions about engineering careers.

Speaking ahead of the week Nick Baveystock, ICE General Director commented on the importance of campaigns like Tomorrow’s Engineers in addressing the need to vastly increase the number of apprentices and graduates entering the industry.

“Civil engineering is a diverse, fascinating and exciting industry, where you can literally shape the world in which we live and make a real difference. We – engineering institutions, industry and academia – must do more to show this crucial generation of schoolchildren, their parents and their teachers, the range of opportunities on offer. Schools also have a duty to lead the drive in overcoming outdated perceptions about careers in engineering, and ensure they are accessible to all.

“In the decade to 2022, engineering companies will need 182,000 people a year with engineering skills. This means we need to double the number of apprentices and graduates entering the industry. This is the scale of the challenge we face, and this is why collaborative, inspirational campaigns like Tomorrow’s Engineers Week are so important.”

For details on how you can help us to inspire young people visit our ICE Ambassadors page.