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Celebrating a Year of Engineering


Christina Wagstaff

In 2018 we were a Year of Engineering partner, dedicated to actively participating in engaging young people, teachers, youth groups and parents about the broad range of engineering careers and the opportunities available. Christina Wagstaff, Corporate Responsibility Partner, takes a look back at the highlights of our involvement with the Year of Engineering.

Celebrating a year of engineering

2018 was the Year of Engineering in the UK, a year-long government-led campaign encouraging industry partners to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession. With a requirement for 186,000 people with engineering skills needed annually through to 2024, it’s important that we encourage more young people to consider a rewarding and varied engineering career path.

At QinetiQ, over the last year, we’ve carried out a range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) outreach activities. Collectively our 230+ STEM Ambassadors have engaged more than 3,500 young people from 90 schools or youth groups through bespoke activities, such as our schools powerboat challenge. We’ve also reached a further 18,000 at large events, like the Solent Festival of Engineering and the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The infographic below gives an overview of the impact of our hard-working STEM ambassadors throughout the year:

Their efforts have been recognised by Ian Beresford, Group Director, Engineering and Operations:

“Thank you to everyone who has taken part in Year of Engineering. In particular to our STEM Ambassadors, who have shared their passion through a variety of inspirational activities with young people this year. These activities are such an important way to demonstrate the enormous variety of career paths, encouraging a diverse range of young people to choose a career in engineering.”

Activities have been wide ranging but some typical examples include:

  • Inspirational STEM challenges or projects either on our sites or in schools
  • Careers presentations and fairs
  • QinetiQ site visits, facility tours for schools, cadets and youth groups
  • Mock interviews
  • A small number of work experience opportunities
  • Support with regular extra-curricular STEM and coding clubs
  • Continuing professional development for teachers

Research carried out following the first six months of the Year of Engineering campaign shows that the percentage of seven to 11-year-olds who would consider a career in engineering has risen by 36 per cent. Among girls this age we have seen a 56 per cent rise who would consider engineering careers. This is an incredible achievement and it is a great honour to have been a part of the Year of Engineering for 2018. While the campaign has come to a close, we are determined to continue to support and encourage the next generation.