British Engineers must start shouting loud and proud about their achievements, if they are to optimise opportunities, says Semta Chief
Ann Watson, CEO of Semta, the not-for-profit employer-led organisation ‘engineering skills for the future’ believes that the engineering community is guilty of ‘hiding lights under bushels’.
Addressing the Society of Operational Engineers she said: “As an engineering community we need to stop hiding our lights under bushels, start blowing our own trumpets and herald what a fantastic career engineering can be.”
Praising the innovative 1000mph ‘Bloodhound’ car – preparing to break the land speed record she said that the project epitomises the brilliance of British engineering – which should be shouted about.
“This is British engineering at its peak, leading the World and pushing back the boundaries of what is achievable by man and his machines.
“Without people with the right skills, however, this project would never have come to fruition.”
Engineering needs a resurgence the length and breadth of Britain – from Scotland to Cornwall - she said - but warned that the looming skills crisis could cost the country £27 billion per annum.
“We need an extra 800,000 additional science, engineering and technology technicians to avert a crisis.” said Ann.
She asserted that young people needed to know what wonders await in a career in engineering – and mourned the loss of STEM graduates choosing careers outside the sector.
“The problem we have is that too many are choosing to apply their skills outside of STEM sectors. More than 12,000 engineering graduates are working in financial services, for example - that’s undoubtedly good news for financial services!”
Ann stated that inadequate careers advice is part of the problem.
“Only 10 per cent of educators feel confident in speaking about an apprenticeship. Too many teachers have never set foot in a modern engineering workplace.”
She told the society that hundreds of engineering firms were signing up to Semta’s STEM Exchange to offer opportunities for educators to be educated about the world of work in the sector.