IET members, volunteers, corporate and academic partners have been sharing their experiences and good practice guidance on the IET's new Engineering Work Experience for All microsite, which launches today.
The launch of the microsite is the latest development in the IET’s Engineering Work Experience for All campaign, which calls for industry, academia and the Government to work together to offer all engineering students high-quality practical work experience and placement opportunities during their studies.
The campaign was launched in response to the IET’s 2016 Skills and Demand in Industry survey, which revealed UK employers’ growing concerns over skills gaps in the engineering workforce. To reduce these gaps, 91% of employers in the survey agreed that organisations need to do more to provide practical work experience for those in education or training.
Case studies and blogs on the new microsite demonstrate how employers and higher education institutions can benefit from investing in work experience and internship schemes. The microsite also provides examples of good practice from the perspectives of students who have gained engineering work experience, placements and internships.
IET President, Jeremy Watson, said: “Providing students and school children with their own practical experience of the modern engineering workplace helps to create more innovative and work-ready engineers.
“There are some fantastic examples of where industry and academia are already doing this and our campaign will help others learn from this best practice. We hope it will not only encourage more students to take up engineering degrees, but companies to invest in providing learners with practical experience.”
Professor John Perkins, Chair of the IET Education and Skills Sector Panel, said: “Providing practical skills should be at the heart of engineering education, as there is so much more to learning about engineering than one can learn from a textbook.
“This campaign aims to highlight the possibilities for academia, students and industry by bringing them together in an online community to share their experiences of work experience in a way that has not been done before.”
Joseph Baker, a student at Aston University, was a Hardware Engineering Intern at Abaco Systems designing and testing ruggedised high performance computing modules to be used in military and aerospace applications. He said: “I gained an improved appreciation for commercial engineering and the challenges that occur during real engineering projects. I am keen to transfer the skills I attained throughout my placement, as well as my understanding of engineering best practice, to future roles in industry.”
The IET would like to hear from more organisations and higher education institutions who offer engineering work experience, as well as from students who have benefited from engineering placement opportunities. If you have an example that you’d like to share on the microsite or a blog post to contribute, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please follow the link to the Engineering Work Experience for All microsite for more details about the campaign.