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13.11.17

NR tackles skills shortage during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week

Last week saw Network Rail graduates and students demonstrate their enthusiasm for STEM subjects in school.

As part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (6 to 10 November), the volunteers visited schools to encourage children to consider careers in engineering.

The week is an annual national initiative which seeks to address the skills shortage faced by the industry. Until 2024, the country will need 186,000 engineers annually, with the skills gap costing the economy £1.1bn a year in that time.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week saw over 300 employers and professional bodies from the engineering community join forces with universities, schools and individuals to inspire the next generation of industry professionals.

The graduate visits also make up part of Network Rail’s own year-round project of engagement with schools, which includes workshops about STEM subjects and railway safety.

The activity days were held in schools near the organisation’s Milton Keynes office, visiting two schools each day. Sessions were delivered to around 500 of the schools’ promising science students.

Teams of the 12- to 14-year-olds were challenged to build a bridge, project-manage a task, and build a level crossing out of Lego.

Each of the days’ winning teams will be invited to attend a final challenge day, which will include talks from key speakers and a programming challenge.

Bethany Quayle, a graduate track engineer at Network Rail who helped to organise the visits, explained why she felt the programme is beneficial: “It is a rare opportunity for us to be able to reach out to so many students and if we manage to open up even one young person’s mind to look into a career in engineering then we have been successful.

“Involving graduates and year-in-industry students hopefully provides the students with a positive role model who can inspire them and offer basic career advice.”

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Comments

David   13/11/2017 at 18:24

Wow! I wasn’t expecting to see this published in a national industry magazine! Great stuff.

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