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Parliamentary pledge for more engineers

23 October 2013
IET Communications team
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Chloe Smith MP at an IET event

Chloe Smith MP pledges her support for engineering.

MPs sign IET pledge to support engineering in their constituencies.

On 22 October, 67 cross-party UK MPs signed the IET’s pledge to support young engineers, especially women, in their constituencies.

The event was held at the Houses of Parliament and hosted by Stephen McPartland MP. The IET has a strong relationship with Stephen as his Stevenage constituency is home to the IET’s Michael Faraday House.

Other MPs who attended the event included shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint MP, fellow of the IET and shadow cabinet minister Chi Onwurah, and Duncan Hames MP, parliamentary private secretary to Nick Clegg.

After signing the pledge, MPs spoke to IET president Barry Brooks, the IET education team and young engineer volunteer members. IET volunteers were able to feed back to MPs their experiences of entering the profession and their ideas on how others can be encouraged to do the same.

IET president Barry Brooks said: “Engineering underpins our everyday lives but we in the UK are facing a serious skills shortage. We urgently need to provide the right career advice and encourage more young people to take the right subjects at school and then to support them as they progress into a career in the engineering sector.

“It was fantastic to see so many MPs at our informal event in Parliament. Their commitment to promote the campaign to encourage more young people, particularly women, into engineering within their own constituencies is hugely encouraging and will be very helpful in supporting both Tomorrow’s Engineers and the wider industry effort to close the UK engineering skills gap.”

 

Twitter campaign

Prior to the event, the IET launched a Twitter campaign to ask MPs to sign the pledge. Members and non-members alike were able to ask their MPs, in 140 characters, whether they would sign the pledge to support engineering. You can see all the action from the 'Tweet your MP for Engineering' Twitter campaign on the IET Storify page.

 

Media coverage

News of the IET’s Parliamentary event was covered by BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live and other regional stations. IET member and former Young Woman Engineer of the Year finalist Roma Agrawal appeared on Daily Politics alongside MPs Peter Luff and David Blunkett to talk engineering. You can watch Roma on Daily Politics on the BBC iPlayer.

 

House of Commons debate

The event clearly made an impact in the minds of MPs, as the topic of young engineers was raised three times in the House of Commons on 24 October. 

Peter Luff MP asked during Business Question Time: "The scandalously low number of women in engineering apprenticeships is a missed opportunity for young women themselves, engineering employers and the wider economy. Does the Minister share my concern about the continuing and powerful evidence of gender stereotyping in schools, particularly co-educational schools, and the low number of engineering companies taking action to improve work force diversity, revealed by the Institute of Engineering and Technology only this week?"

Business, innovation and skills minister Matthew Hancock MP replied: "Absolutely. I pay tribute to the work of my hon. Friend on this subject and look forward to following his leadership in driving up the number of women in engineering apprenticeships."

 

Here is full list of those who signed the IET's engineering pledge:

 

Title

First Name

Surname

Party

Constituency

Mr

Nigel

Adams

Conservative

Selby and Ainsty

Mr

Peter

Aldous

Conservative

Waveney

Mr

Adrian

Bailey

Labour/Co-operative

West Bromwich West

Ms

Luciana

Berger

Labour/Co-operative

Liverpool Wavertree

Mr

Andrew

Bingham

Conservative

High Peak

Ms

Nicola

Blackwood

Conservative

Oxford West and Abingdon

Ms

Karen

Bradley

Conservative

Staffordshire Moorlands

Mr

Andrew

Bridgen

Conservative

North West Leicestershire

Ms

Annette

Brooke

Liberal Democrat

Mid Dorset and North Poole

Mr

Russell

Brown

Labour

Dumfries and Galloway

Mrs

Fiona

Bruce

Conservative

Congleton

Ms

Lorely

Burt

Liberal Democrat

Solihull

Mr

Neil

Carmichael

Conservative

Stroud

Dr

Therese

Coffey

Conservative

Suffolk Coastal

Mr

Ian

Davidson

Labour/Co-operative

Glasgow South West

Ms

Caroline

Dinenage

Conservative

Gosport

Mr

Graham

Evans

Conservative

Weaver Vale

Mr

Michael

Fabricant

Conservative

Lichfield

Mr

Jim

Fitzpatrick

Labour

Poplar and Limehouse

Rt Hon

Caroline

Flint

Labour

Don Valley

Mr

Roger

Gale

Conservative

North Thanet

Mrs

Mary

Glindon

Labour

North Tyneside

Ms

Lilian

Greenwood

Labour

Nottingham South

Ms

Nia

Griffith

Labour

Llanelli

Mr

Andrew

Gwynne

Labour

Denton and Reddish

Mr

Duncan

Hames

Liberal Democrat

Chippenham

Mrs

Rebecca

Harris

Conservative

Castle Point

Mr

Oliver

Heald

Conservative

North East Hertfordshire

Mr

Gordon

Henderson

Conservative

Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Mr

Charles

Hendry

Conservative

Wealden

Ms

Sharon

Hodgson

Labour

Washington and Sunderland West

Mr

Kelvin

Hopkins

Labour

Luton North

Mr

Simon

Hughes

Liberal Democrat

Bermondsey and Old Southwark

Ms

Cathy

Jamieson

Labour/Co-operative

Kilmarnock and Loudoun

Mr

Andrew

Jones

Conservative

Harrogate and Knaresborough

Mr

Tim

Loughton

Conservative

East Worthing and Shoreham

Mr

Peter

Luff

Conservative

Mid Worcestershire

Mr

Steve

McCabe

Labour

Birmingham, Selly Oak

Mr

Andy

McDonald

Labour

Middlesbrough

Mr

Stephen

McPartland

Conservative

Stevenage

Mr

Steve

Metcalfe

Conservative

South Basildon and East Thurrock

Mr

Andrew

Miller

Labour

Ellesmere Port and Neston

Mr

Grahame

Morris

Labour

Easington

Mr

Stephen

Mosley

Conservative

City of Chester

Ms

Meg

Munn

Labour/Co-operative

Sheffield, Heeley

Ms

Chi

Onwurah

Labour

Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Mrs

Claire

Perry

Conservative

Devizes

Ms

Amber

Rudd

Conservative

Hastings and Rye

Mr

David

Ruffley

Conservative

Bury St Edmunds

Mr

David

Rutley

Conservative

Macclesfield

Ms

Laura

Sandys

Conservative

South Thanet

Mr

Alok

Sharma

Conservative

Reading West

Ms

Chloe

Smith

Conservative

Norwich North

Rt Hon

John

Spellar

Labour

Warley

Mr

Mel

Stride

Conservative

Central Devon

Mr

Andrew

Stunell

Liberal Democrat

Hazel Grove

Mr

Ian

Swales

Liberal Democrat

Redcar

Mr

Edward

Timpson

Conservative

Crewe and Nantwich

Mr

Justin

Tomlinson

Conservative

North Swindon

Mr

Derek

Twigg

Labour

Halton

Mr

Robin

Walker

Conservative

Worcester

Dame

Angela

Watkinson

Conservative

Hornchurch and Upminster

Dr

Alan

Whitehead

Labour

Southampton Test

Mr

Chris

Williamson

Labour

Derby North

Mr

Robert

Wilson

Conservative

Reading East

Mr

Simon

Wright

Liberal Democrat

Norwich South

Mr

David

Wright

Labour

Telford

Mr

Iain

Wright

Labour

Hartlepool

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