Hailsham MP Charles Hendry has backed a new bill in Parliament to encourage engineering.
The bill, proposed by Peter Luff MP, would require schools to give children a greater understanding of engineering and technology throughout their education, and encourage them to pursue careers in these sectors.
Mr Hendry said: “We face huge engineering challenges over the coming decades, and students with the right qualifications can look forward to careers which provide real job satisfaction and offer exceptional rewards.”
“There is a growing gap that needs to be filled, and the measures in this Bill would help to address it.”
For many years there has been a high demand for British engineers and an ever-increasing employment gap that is not being filled, with the country needing at least 50 per cent more engineers than it currently has, Mr Hendry said.
“Recruiting from abroad is not always an option, with companies looking specifically for British engineers for British only jobs.
The Bill, at its simplest, aims to inspire both boys and girls to do well in the core subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.”
The Bill aims to do four things to encourage these students to pursue this career path:
First, to encourage schools to expose pupils to the realities of modern engineering and technology.
Secondly, to encourage local companies to support schools in this area, to help develop pupils’ understanding of this industry.
Thirdly, it would require schools to have two employers on the governing boards of schools, one of which must be from a science, technology, engineering or manufacturing background.
Fourthly, it would impose a duty on the Department of Education to continue to support for activity on engineering-awareness schemes; and finally, it would sweep away all restrictions on schools using professional engineers and scientists from employers to teach maths and physics where they teacher shortages.
Mr Hendry, who as a Minister continues to actively encourage students to achieve the qualifications to get good jobs in the energy sector, said, “I am delighted to support this bill which highlights the national need to encourage more students to study engineering-related courses.”