EngineeringUK

Engineering Project Takes Pupils Around The World

Year 9 pupils at Small Heath Upper School, Birmingham, were the first pupils in the country to experience the Tomorrow’s Engineers “Around the World” careers outreach programme, designed to show young people the exciting jobs that their science and mathematics subjects could lead to in the future.

Led by EngineeringUK and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme is the product of a unique collaboration between engineering firms, E.ON, GKN, Goodrich, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, Rolls-Royce and Severn Trent. Delivered by By Design and Science Made Simple, the careers outreach programme for schools aims to provide an introduction to modern engineering backed up with careers information and resources that will inspire future engineers.

Linked to the Science and Design and Technology curriculum, 13-14 year-olds took part in an interactive presentation and activities tackling issues from climate change and surviving earthquakes to how to make sure our lights don’t go out.

Activities included:

• I Engineer - a hands-on challenge pitting pupils against the clock to come up with solutions to big engineering conundrums

• Engineering X Factor - Challenges and brain-teasers that shatter the myths that surround engineering and highlight the key skills and qualifications needed to follow a career in engineering

• The Drawing Board – A Dragon’s Den style activity giving pupils the chance to put their product or solution ideas to an industry expert.  

Small Heath Pupil, Ibrahim Rashid, 14, said: “This has really made me think ‘should I change my career choice?’ I was thinking of going into medicine but, looking at this and learning about medical engineering, I thought ‘why not go into engineering? I wouldn’t have thought engineering had so many options. I thought cars and mechanics were it.”

Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, Paul Jackson, said: “Talent is the foundation for growth, and is at the heart of our vibrant engineering and manufacturing sector. This collaboration with other Midlands engineering companies means that together we can do more to tackle skills gaps, improve understanding about engineering and ultimately increase the number of young people choosing engineering as a career.”

Head of Work Related Learning at Small Heath Upper School, Richard Riley, said:  “There’s a new message that has to be put out about engineering. It is cool, and it opens up a lot of doors careers-wise. We are great believers in the importance of children knowing why they’re learning what they’re learning, and understanding that if they have the right skills there are companies that will employ them. It’s important that children learn what skills are needed and get more of an understanding of what engineering is really about, that’s why this programme is so good.”

Learning and Development Manager at Severn Trent, Jo Wilkes, said: “We are looking for a new wave of graduates and apprentices to come into the organisation and it’s great to engage with pupils at a younger age so that they can start making informed decisions about what career routes they want to go down. As an organisation, if we can encourage young people to take up science and maths and be interested in engineering then they are potentially our future employees.”

Community Relations Officer, Corporate Governance & Social Responsibility, at Jaguar Land Rover, Nikki Armstrong, said: “We need to engage with young people before they’ve made their career choices to show them the opportunities available in the world of engineering and science. The perception of what an engineer does, particularly in the automotive industry, is very different to the reality. This programme enables us to reach a larger number of young people to showcase the variety of opportunities that are available with companies like ourselves.”

Tomorrow’s Engineers careers information and resources are available at www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

For further information about the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme contact Jo Hill on jhill@engineeringuk.com

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Image: Mike Ridler from By Design taking part in a Tomorrow’s Engineers activity with Small Heath School pupils