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25 January 2018

Mott MacDonald supports #ThisIsEngineering campaign to tackle critical shortfall of engineering talent holding back the UK economy

Mott MacDonald is supporting the #ThisIsEngineering campaign, launched today by the Royal Academy of Engineering in collaboration with EngineeringUK. The consultancy is a sponsor of the campaign, which aims to give more young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to explore how they could follow what they love into a varied and fulfilling engineering career across a range of industries from film, to sport, gaming and music.

Launched in the government’s Year of Engineering, the campaign has been created in response to significant demand for engineering talent in the UK. Findings from a forthcoming EngineeringUK report show that there is an annual demand for at least 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills, and an additional 79,000 roles that require engineering knowledge and skills alongside other skill sets.

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of #ThisIsEngineering shows that 63% of young people (aged 13 to 18) think they will have a career that taps into their existing passions. They also said that when it comes to talking about the kinds of jobs they would like to do, they would prefer their parents to talk to them about their current interests, rather than what they want to be when they grow up.

However, the research also shows that young people are not inspired by talking to parents about their jobs, and only 35% of young people believe their parents’ careers involve something they are passionate about. Instead, young people online are increasingly turning to the internet for information about careers (52%), with search engines overtaking conversations with parents (41%) and teachers (37%) as a source of advice and inspiration.

Historically, the full breadth of engineering opportunities has not been widely understood or acknowledged, resulting in the perception that a career in engineering is narrow, technical and traditional. The #ThisIsEngineering campaign will help to reset the conversation about engineering, tapping into young people’s passions for subjects such as sport, technology and design, and illustrating through social media that the profession is diverse, challenging and creative.

It aims to bring engineering to life for young people from all backgrounds, demonstrating the role it plays across multiple industries – from fashion to sport - and give young people a better understanding of how their current passions could become rewarding careers through engineering.

Mott MacDonald’s Group chairman Keith Howells said: “We’re delighted to be part of this far-sighted initiative by the Royal Academy of Engineering and EngineeringUK. People are the lifeblood of our business, so encouraging the next generation to enter the engineering sector is absolutely vital to its continued growth and success. This innovative campaign will show young people that engineering can open career opportunities in a wide array of industries, some of which they’d never have imagined until now.”

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, chief executive officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering, commented: “Engineering is essential to the future growth of the UK economy and underpins so much of our day to day lives, but we are still facing a chronic shortfall of talent. Engineering can provide a unique opportunity for young people to develop their passions into rewarding careers involving everything from sport, film and space, to music and fashion. It opens the door to careers that can shape the future – from developing the next smartphone to creating medical devices that will save lives.

“The #ThisIsEngineering campaign brings together some of the UK’s leading engineering businesses to communicate this, and to address the skills shortage. The campaign is designed to reflect how young people think and feel about their futures, and illustrate how it’s possible to have a job that is truly inspiring,” Dr Sillem added.

The #ThisIsEngineering campaign launches today with a high profile online advertising campaign, which brings to life the stories of five young engineers who have turned their passions into careers involving sport, fashion, tech, design and space. More information about the campaign is available here.

This is Engineering launches in the government-led Year of Engineering, a year-long programme to ‘open the doors’ to engineering and encourage the public, particularly young people, to take a closer look.

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