MP launches mission to find young engineers

By Nigel Slater Tuesday 29 January 2013 Updated: 01/02 09:41

A CAMPAIGN to inspire young people to take up careers in engineering has been launched by Evesham's MP Peter Luff.

The Mid-Worcestershire MP is attempting to get more young people into the industry because he feels a shortage of engineers is a serious threat to the country's future.

The campaign, which launched on Thursday (January 24), will be one of the MP's priorities in the House of Commons during the next two years until the next general election.

"During my five years as Chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee in the last Parliament and two and a half years as a defence minister, the overriding concern I heard expressed by manufacturing and technology companies was that there just were not enough engineers - apprentices and graduates - to meet demand," Mr Luff said.

"In the 70s, 80s and 90s engineering got a pretty bad press. The news was dominated by strikes and job losses and it is hardly surprising that the legacy of that time has had its impact on young people.

"But now engineering is one of the best paid and most secure careers a young person can choose. And their work is vital not just in the civilian sector but also in defence.

"Without British engineers and scientists we would not be able to defend ourselves - it's that simple. The challenge is to inspire more young people to want to be engineers and for them to make the right choices at GCSE and A Level and enable them to pursue their aspirations."

The first stage of the campaign is the presentation of a Ten Minute Bill which will be read out by Mr Luff at the House of Commons on Wednesday, February 13.

The bill is aimed at school children and puts an emphasis on schools and local enterprise partnerships to provide opportunities and resources for pupils in order so they can develop an interest in engineering, technology and science.

"My Bill is a first statement of the sort of things I believe need to be done." Mr Luff added.

"I am confident these ideas are supported within Parliament and I hope my Bill will be the start of a successful campaign to help inspire young people about the possibilities in engineering, science and technology."

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