Tomorrow's Engineers Week aims to inspire the next generation
Companies throughout the plastics industry are being encouraged to highlight the benefits of a career within the sector this week as part of a nationwide initiative to attract future recruits.
Starting today (Monday 2nd November), Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which was launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in 2013, aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people (focusing on 11-14s), their parents and teachers.
“This week is about sending up a flare to alert young people, parents and teachers to the wealth of opportunity in engineering. A career in our sector ticks all the boxes, offering jobs, good pay and the chance of an interesting and dynamic long-term career,” commented Verity O’Keefe, Employment and Skills Policy Adviser at EEF, the manufacturers’ association.
The plastics industry is all too aware of the urgent need to attract and retain skilled workers. Earlier this year, the British Plastics Federation, in conjunction with Cogent, the sector skills council, launched an education and skills committee.
Philip Law, BPF’s Director General, said: “Skills are now at the top of the industry’s agenda and future growth depends on filling the gaps.”
British Plastics and Rubber spoke to Ellis Wicks, an undergraduate student working part-time for injection moulders Forteq UK, in Huddersfield, as he completes his final year of a degree in engineering.
“It is a very demanding and fast-paced industry, with customers that, in my experience, expect the introduction of many new technologies that push our understanding of injection moulding, assembly and plastic joining processes,” explained Wicks.
“I have worked for Forteq for two years this month and I have been involved in many projects already, some straight-forward and some very challenging. Based on my experience, I will be looking for a career in plastics,”
‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is asking companies to support the campaign on social media and by highlighting the benefits of engineering careers to young people wherever possible. For more information, contact: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk
Some key facts from EEF, to explain why it is so vital to encourage more young people into a career in engineering today are highlighted below:
Job opportunities: there will be over 2.5 million job openings in engineering companies up to 2022 - manufacturers need to find almost one million workers by 2020 simply to replace those retiring or leaving industry
Recruitment plans: 66% of manufacturers plan to recruit an engineering graduate in the next three years and 66% plan to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months
Employability: according to Engineering UK, 66% of engineering and technology graduates were in full-time employment within 6 months of graduating, compared with 58% of all graduates
Rules of attraction: 72% of manufacturers say raising awareness of apprenticeships will encourage more young people into manufacturing - 63% say the same of STEM-promoting initiatives between schools and business
Careers advice: six in ten firms (60%) say better-informed careers advice at school will encourage more young people into engineering.