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IET volunteering – how it contributes to net zero

We have volunteers around the globe who freely give up their time and effort on our behalf - many are helping to accelerate the drive towards net zero.

Based on the results of our 2020 UK skills survey, listed below are some of the many ways in which the generous support of our volunteers around the world is contributing to a green recovery.

Educating people of all ages

Our Education Officers and Education Ambassadors facilitate educational STEM activities at schools. They inspire and excite children between four and 19 about engineering and technology, making sure they gain a good understanding of the importance of STEM subjects and the role they play in their everyday lives and a sustainable future.

Our Local and Technical Networks are groups of volunteers who work to deliver activities that are designed to promote the importance of science, engineering, and technology to the general public. Sustainability is high on their agenda.

Ensuring there’s a pipeline of engineering talent

At universities, our On-Campus Student Volunteers deliver activities that enable engineering and technology students to network with employers and each other. This often opens up invaluable learning and work experience opportunities, which in turn help get students work-ready and set them up for a successful long-term career.

Our volunteer Young Professionals give their career stage a face and voice within industry and society, while also bringing fresh perspectives to the profession. They openly share knowledge and experience, and provide a range of platforms and opportunities for fellow young professionals to build their networks.

Influencing Government and industry

The volunteers on our Policy and Insight Panels use their in-depth knowledge and expertise to inform and influence Government and industry. Their emphasis is very much on promoting a green post-pandemic recovery; the need to support innovation and drive down costs; and the importance of long-term planning and investment in order to encourage a more sustainable and stable future.

Reskilling and upskilling

Specialist skills will be crucial in delivering the sustainability agenda, so industry must prioritise reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce so that it remains flexible, agile, and able to innovate effectively.

At an individual level, our Professional Development Mentors make sure their mentees acquire relevant skills and knowledge to enhance and sustain their professional and personal growth, while our CPD Advisors check that individuals are compliant with their CPD scheme.

Plugging the skills gap

Nearly half of engineering employers responding to our IET skills for net zero and a green recovery 2020 survey said they experience difficulty with internal skills gaps and external skills recruitment. To complicate things further, businesses will need new skills to implement sustainability strategies and activities.

To address this, our Accreditation volunteers will only accredit (or reaccredit) engineering apprenticeships, professional development schemes, and higher education programmes that deliver relevant, high-quality education and competence development aligned with current and future industry needs.

Maintaining high professional standards

Professional registration enables us to set the bar high and keep it there, by ensuring that engineers are firmly committed to professional standards, have competence and understanding in their field of expertise, and will keep learning and developing throughout their career.

Our volunteers are involved at many stages during the registration process. Wherever possible, our Professional Registration Advisors, Registration Assessors, and Professional Review Interviewers make sure candidates demonstrate a good understanding of the principles of sustainable development - and apply these principles to their work.

Marnie McKay MEng MIET

IET Young Professionals Committee Member and Young Professional Ambassador

“I’m really proud to be part of a professional institution that strives to maintain a robust pipeline of engineering talent capable of addressing global sustainability issues.”

Professor Sean Wellington BEng MPhil MBA CEng FIET

IET Innovation and Skills Panel Member and Academic Accreditor

“The IET’s net-zero recommendations highlight the need for a collaborative approach to skills development so that present and future engineers have the ‘green’ skills and relevant work experience they need to tackle climate change. As an IET volunteer, it feels great to be part of that collaborative effort, joining industry, government, and education providers in helping to improve global sustainability.”