23 Nov 2021
Supporting the call for engineering education for primary pupils
NG Bailey has joined forces with over 150 world-leading engineers, scientists, and technology giants to urge the Government to help tackle the UK’s engineering skills shortage by embedding engineering into current primary school learning and support #EngineeringKidsFutures.
NG Bailey’s Technical Director of Engineering Steve Campbell is a signatory to an open letter to the Prime Minister from Professor Danielle George MBE, Immediate Past President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and #EngineeringKidsFutures ambassador.
The letter is signed by more than 150 others including Major Tim Peake, Carol Vorderman MBE, will.i.am, and representatives from Rolls Royce, Vodafone and the MOD. It calls for the Government to work together with educators and industry to develop practical support for teachers of our youngest children and embed engineering in their existing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning.
Reports from the IET estimate a shortfall of over 173,000 workers in the STEM sector. They’ve seen the issue grow during the last 15 years – longer than the time it takes for a primary aged-child to complete their education and are calling for future skills needs to be addressed now by embedding engineering into primary school learning to help bridge the growing skills gap within UK workforces and support #EngineeringKidsFutures.
Professor Danielle George MBE, Immediate Past President, the IET and Engineering Kids’ Futures ambassador, commented: “To ‘build back better’ and fully embrace the ‘green industrial revolution’ promised by the government it is essential to start with solid foundations. By adding more focus on misunderstood terms like engineering and technology, where we know there is a perception problem, it will help young people from all backgrounds learn vital engineering and tech skills early on and increase their career aspirations.
“We propose collaboration between the Government, STEM education supporters, academia, and industry to provide teachers with the tools to showcase that science, design & technology and maths have vital elements of engineering within them and proactively encourage the teaching of engineering in our primary schools.
“This focus and support for schools is fundamental if we want to futureproof the next generation of engineers. And these benefits extend far beyond the classroom – from higher earnings to better job satisfaction, our research shows that those in STEM careers can hit life goals such as financial independence much sooner than their peers.”
NG Bailey’s Steve Campbell added: “Children will be the engineering innovators of the future - their skills will be more important than ever in the coming decades as we tackle the global challenges posed by achieving net-zero and meeting our COP26 pledges.
“It is vital that we nurture our children’s curiosity about the advancing world around them from the earliest age and ensure that we help them engineer our future.”