Prince of Wales joins events to support drive for more engineers

The Prince of Wales spent a visit to The Big Bang @ University of Essex yesterday (16 December) discussing the skills shortages in engineering and seeing first-hand activities to encourage more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

His Royal Highness joined head teachers and employers at the Prince of Wales Engineering Workshop. Participants discussed what business can do to support schools to promote engineering to young people and what schools can do to address the recruitment challenges faced by employers. HRH Prince of Wales endorsed a coordinated effort to address the skills shortage, saying: ‘I hope these workshops might help in terms of coordinating all the initiatives that I know are going on in this field. There are an awful lot of initiatives in the STEM sector and skills side. They do need coordination to avoid duplication.’

This coordinated approach is being brought together under the banner of Tomorrow’s Engineers, a programme that unites employers, professional engineering institutions and the wider engineering community to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said: ‘The Tomorrow’s Engineers programme aims to ensure that every 11-14 year old will understand the variety, excitement and opportunity presented by a career in engineering. In working together to widen the talent pool - bringing people into the industry from all backgrounds and via all routes – we will create a more level playing field when it comes to recruitment’.

The Prince of Wales Workshop took place alongside The Big Bang @ University of Essex, which saw over 1,000 students from secondary schools across Essex and Suffolk enjoy a day of STEM shows, workshops, careers sessions and hands-on activities. Prince Charles toured the market place talking to local youngsters about the activities they were involved in and their career aspirations. The event is part of a UK-wide programme led by EngineeringUK to bring science and engineering to life for young people, 75,000 of whom are expected at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in March.

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Notes to Editors

EngineeringUK is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community: producing evidence on the state of engineering, sharing knowledge within engineering and inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering through programmes Tomorrow’s Engineers and The Big Bang. For more information about EngineeringUK please visit

Prince of Wales Engineering Workshop
Several of The Prince’s Charities (The Prince’s Trust, Teach First, The Prince’s Teaching Institute and Business in the Community) have joined forces with The Royal Academy of Engineering and EngineeringUK to host a series of Prince of Wales Engineering Workshops. Designed for head teachers, these workshops provide a chance for an exchange of views between schools and businesses on the engineering skills needed in the future, the barriers schools face in helping advance engineering with their pupils and the support schools may need to make effective change.

Big Bang @ University of Essex
The Big Bang @ University of Essex is part of the Big Bang Near Me programme of events that include a host of interactive stands, workshops, shows and careers information designed to show young people the hundreds of exciting careers opportunities available to them if they study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Around 1000 students will attend from 38 different schools across Essex and Suffolk, many of them based in areas with low numbers of young people progressing to higher education.

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair takes place annually in March (11-14 March 2014) and is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Everything we do is aimed at showing young people (primarily aged 5 -19) just how many exciting and rewarding opportunities there are out there for them with the right experience and qualifications. The Big Bang hosts the finals of the prestigious National Science + Engineering Competition.