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.