Opinion Former Article

Ed Miliband calls for more female engineers

Thousands of female engineers will be trained up as part of a 'national mission' to get Britain building again, Ed Miliband announced today.

Responding, Michelle Richmond from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “It’s great to see that Ed Milliband is making plans to tackle the engineering skills shortage. This is a very significant problem, contributing to skills shortages which damage the economy. The shocking reality is that the UK is missing out on half of its potential engineering and technology workforce by failing to attract women into the industry. It also means that women are losing out on interesting and rewarding career opportunities.

“The difficulty in attracting women into engineering is down to a combination of things: from the careers advice girls are given in schools, to schools not instilling girls with the confidence to opt for science and maths at A-level, through to employers needing to do more to make their approach to recruitment and retention more female friendly.

“There is no easy fix to this problem so it’s important that any future training programmes are developed in close consultation with industry, schools and colleges if we want them to make a real and lasting impact.

“The lack of inspirational engineering role models for girls is also part of the problem so we must make sure we show the next generation that engineering is an interesting and challenging career choice, which is why initiatives like our Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are so important.”
 




Notes to editors:

§  Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

§  The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.

§  The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.

§  We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.

§  For more information, visit www.theiet.org

§  Follow the IET on Twitter.

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