Efforts to tackle the engineering skills gap have been boosted with the appointment of a new Government envoy. Stephen Metcalfe MP (pictured) will drive support for the ‘Year of Engineering’ campaign in 2018, which will see industry and Government work together to provide engineering experiences to thousands of young people.
Stephen Metcalfe, a former chairman of the House of Commons’ Science & Technology Committee, will also look to widen the pool of young people who enter the profession. The Government says that engineering faces a shortfall of 20,000 graduates a year and lacks diversity: the workforce is 91% male and 94% white.
“Growing the interest in, and awareness of engineering and careers within the sector are vital to inspire the next generation of engineers and ensure our future economic success,” the new envoy said. “Engineering has the ability to tackle some of the challenges the country and the world face, while also providing well paid and rewarding careers.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “I’m delighted Stephen Metcalfe has accepted the role. This year long campaign is our opportunity to encourage young people from all backgrounds to see the creativity and value of engineering.”
CIHT’s Membership & Skills Strategy Board chair Glenn Lyons said he is delighted to hear of Stephen Metcalfe’s appointment. “We have a proud history of engineering in the UK and a tremendous need now to boost the visibility, appeal and capacity of our engineering professions.”
Glenn added that the envoy’s role will not be easy as other sectors vie for talent to address their own future skills needs. “Getting the message out to young people that engineering matters and offers the prospect of an exciting, challenging and worthwhile career is essential, and I look forward to following news of this campaign's success in due course.”
To find out more about the Year of Engineering click here or follow the campaign on twitter.