Stevenage MP’s call to education and business: ‘Let’s work together to turn on talent pipeline’

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland at Westminster with participants in FLL, the First Lego League which

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland at Westminster with participants in FLL, the First Lego League which is a science and technology tournament for children aged nine to 16 - Credit: Archant

Stevenage’s MP is backing a call for employers in the area to work with universities, schools and colleges to tackle the engineering skills gap.

A report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, which has its headquarters in Stevenage’s Six Hills Way, reveals that 61 per cent of employers are unhappy with skills offered by graduates and even more fear that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change.

The report also highlights that while more than half of employers say they are recruiting engineering staff this year, 64 per cent claim a shortage of engineers in the UK is a threat to their business.

The organisation’s chief executive Nigel Fine said: “Demand for engineers in the UK remains high, with supply unable to keep pace – and employers continuing to highlight skills shortages as a major concern.

“Stronger and deeper collaboration between employers and academic institutions is needed.

“MPs are ideally placed to help us capitalise on this opportunity by helping to get more employers involved with the education system at a local level so that we produce a talent pipeline that can sustain a thriving UK economy.”

Speaking during Young Engineers Week, which ended on Friday, Mr McPartland said: “There is always a huge demand for the engineers of tomorrow.

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“It is important that we all work together with employers, universities, schools and colleges to help our local young people understand the engineering skills they will need to succeed in these jobs.

“We are very lucky to be home to thousands of jobs in science, technology and engineering in Stevenage.

“I will continue to encourage employers in the town to work with schools to give young people work experience opportunities, as well as inspirational information about the many exciting careers in engineering and technology.”