Supporting the next generation of engineers

I have pledged my support for a national campaign to get more young people into engineering, joining government and industry in a united effort to tackle a major skills gap.

The Year of Engineering, which launched earlier this month, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.

Fareham has a proud array of innovative and growing companies that take on apprentices and support the next generation of skilled engineers.

I have had the privilege to visit companies such as Safran – a leading helicopter engines designer and manufacturer, Saab Seaeye – an underwater robotics specialist, and ASV – a company that designs and builds unmanned and autonomous marine vehicles. All of these fantastic companies are based in our area, so there is great potential for closer collaboration between industry and Government right here in Fareham.

Apprenticeships can provide a fantastic opportunity for young people to get on in life and can raise the productivity of the businesses they join.

The Government has already overseen the biggest ever boost to apprenticeships with over 2 million apprenticeship starts since 2010. The Year of Engineering campaign is a great way to continue the work of the Government.

More than 1000 partners have signed up to support the Year of Engineering, including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail. Teaming up with partners from many different sectors, the Government will deliver a year of UK-wide school visits, exhibitions and open doors events – all aimed at encouraging young people and their parents to take a closer look at engineering.