PEME Engineer, Laurie-ann Smith, was amongst the guests at a high profile event, recently held in the Palace of Westminster, to gain support from MPs for a campaign to fix the engineering skills gap.
MPs also signed an Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) pledge to say they would encourage employers in their constituencies to work with schools to give young people work experience opportunities and inspirational information about the many exciting careers in engineering and technology. The pledge also called for MPs to encourage both girls and boys to consider engineering careers, promote the value of vocational engineering subjects and promote engineering careers with parents. Laurie-ann spoke to a number of MPs about her experiences of completing a PEME Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering and her current progress in completing a MSc in Maintenance Engineering and Asset Management at the University of Manchester.
The event was organised by the IET and showcased the technical skills involved in the IET’s FIRST LEGO League competition to policymakers. MPs were introduced to two teams who were named World Champions in 2013 and 2014. The teams were able to show MPs what it takes to programme a robot and some MPs were able to try their hand at programming themselves.
The photo shows the UK Skills Minister, Nick Boles, with two of the members of the 2013 World Lego Festival winning team. He said: “A guaranteed supply of skilled engineers is essential if UK engineering is to compete on the world stage. We are committed to developing the engineering workforce of the future and, through the Your Life Campaign, have joined forces with the industry, academia and institutions to inspire young people to study maths and physics. In order to unlock its potential, the engineering sector needs to draw on as wide a talent pool as possible. That’s why we’ve launched a £30 million fund to increase the supply of engineers, to encourage more women into the sector and to address engineering skills shortages in smaller companies.”