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IET Junior Board calls for virtual work experience opportunities

11 May 2017
IET Communications team
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The Junior Board and IET Trustees met on Monday 8 May 2017 

The IET Junior Board, made up of school children and IET Trustees, met on Monday 8 May to discuss ways of attracting more young people into engineering careers.

This is the second year that the IET has convened its Junior Board. With fewer children studying engineering-related subjects and pursuing careers in engineering, the Trustees are keen to work more closely with young people to understand how best to address the UK's current engineering and skills shortage.

 

Eight young STEM enthusiasts aged 11 to 18 took part in the board meeting to share their suggestions with IET Trustees. One area of particular concern was the lack of supported work experience schemes available to students. To fill this gap, the young people suggested providing virtual or online work experience, featuring a day in the life of an engineer to highlight the practical skills needed in work.

 

Other suggestions included:

 

  • Engineering-themed video games and apps
  • Teaching subjects like Design and Technology in Primary schools
  • Featuring engineers in mainstream children’s television programmes
  • A ‘STEM Teacher of the Year’ programme to encourage more teachers to champion engineering.

 

The group also suggested taster events for young people. This is something the IET is already arranging through its Engineering Open House Day event. Now in its third year, organisations across the UK will be participating once again on 28 July 2017.

 

Speaking about the Junior Board, STEM student, Vivika Martini, said: “This has been an amazing experience and a unique opportunity to share thoughts with like-minded people. I think that the ideas discussed have huge potential to make engineering more widespread, accessible and appealing to the younger generation.”

 

IET President, Jeremy Watson, said: “We launched our Junior Board initiative last year as part of our Engineer a Better World campaign, which promotes engineering careers to young people and their parents. The response we got from the young people involved was invaluable and their ideas were fantastic. We took note and have since worked with a range of engineers to produce YouTube videos and provide monthly coding workshops.

 

“We were delighted to welcome a new set of school children to our Junior Board this week to gain fresh and valuable insight into how we can inspire their generation to become engineers.”