Drive to get more young people into engineering jobs

Caterpillar's Peterlee factory
Caterpillar's Peterlee factory

Parents are being urged to help give their children an insight into a career in engineering as a firm opens its doors today.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is calling on young people and their parents to visit Caterpillar in Peterlee, which is taking part in Engineering Open House Day – the UK’s largest celebration of workplace engineers.

Greg Robson from Caterpillar

Greg Robson from Caterpillar

The event will be taking place at the firm’s Learning Centre Of Light today and will form part of the IET’s Engineer a Better World campaign which aims to showcase the exciting engineering career opportunities in the industry that are open to young people.

With demand for engineers far exceeding supply, and with women accounting for only 9% engineers in the UK, the IET is hoping to inspire a new generation of engineers – including girls – through the Engineering Open House Day events.

Institute bosses say there aren’t enough young people – particularly girls – choosing to study science, technology, engineering and maths at A-Level or at university, which is compounding the shortage of young people going into engineering and technology careers.

They say stereotypes also play a significant role in turning young people off engineering careers.

Greg Robson, from Caterpillar, said: “We’re excited to host an event for the IET’s Engineering Open House Day.

“It will be a great opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic opportunities that a job in the engineering sector can hold. It’s an honour to collaborate with the IET for the events’ second year.

“Engineering Open House Day is a truly great initiative which we hope will inspire and encourage a diverse mix of children to consider a career in the industry.”

Naomi Climer, IET president, commented: “We know that parents are role models and influencers over their children’s futures, so it’s crucial that they support their children – particularly girls – as much as possible if they are showing an interest in science, engineering, technology and maths.”

Professor Brian Cox said: “We need to encourage children’s creativity and imagination at school and at home and to make them think about the huge impact they can have in the world through science and technology.

“And we need to help parents understand more about engineering and science, including making sure they can recognise qualities in their children that might lead to them being good engineers.”