Siemens Tackles Skills Gap with UK’s First Engineering Education and Careers Portal for Schools

Siemens yesterday launched a groundbreaking new education and careers scheme for engineers in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Siemens Education Portal will for the first time allow teachers, students and parents to access a central hub of information to be used in the classroom explicitly designed to encourage young people to engage with engineering and manufacturing related subjects.

The portal will be rolled out to 5,000 schools across the UK by 2014 aiming to reach over 1.95 million pupils within the first year and 4.5 million by 2016. The launch was held today (28 February) at the Manufacturing Summit hosted by Department of Business, Innovation and Skills at the Heritage Motor Centre Motor Museum, in Gaydon.

The aim of the portal is to inspire students, support teachers and communicate to parents the considerable opportunities open to young people working in today’s industry and manufacturing environments. Initially the portal will support the 11 to 14 age group with plans to expand the age range over the next two years.

The scheme will host a range of interactive education materials supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects; from highly interactive schemes of work for practical application in the classroom to engaging 3D games based on some of the most ground breaking industrial projects and tech-nologies in the UK. The content will connect teachers, and young people through a range of curriculum based schemes of work and interactive teaching methods.

All the materials draw upon the technical expertise of Siemens as well as experienced curriculum developers and can be enhanced by inviting a Siemens employee into a school to provide the benefit of their own experiences and expertise in the subject matter. The content will draw from the Siemens Energy, Infrastructure and Cities, Healthcare and Industrial Sectors

The schemes of work include exploring the challenges facing product designers when designing vehicles for an urban environment, developing sustainable water supplies and creating sustainable energy supplies for modern cities using wind farms.

Juergen Maier, Siemens Industry Managing Director said “It remains vital that we all play our role in developing talent for the future to replace the ageing workforce in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. The only way to change the perceptions of engineering and manufacturing is to target children as young as nine– and really explain how exciting working in this field is.

The portal we have developed is a unique and new way of reaching young people interested in working in engineering. We are passionate about showing aspiring stu-dents, girls as well as boys that working in areas such as high value manufacturing can really lead to a solid and long term career.

If we are to rebalance the economy we need to be developing the skills now to fill the jobs of the future. We know that sustained public and private investment in this area is essential if we are to win the global skills race and create sustainable growth.”

Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills said: “Siemens are to be congratulated on this innovative new programme to get more young people into engineering. Engineers have highly adaptive skills which are valuable across our whole economy and our future competitiveness in the global race will depend on attracting the brightest and best talent into this rewarding career.

The Government is very active in all policy areas from schools, apprenticeships, higher education, talent retention, and working with companies such as Siemens to tell the real story about engineering and inspire young people.“

Sarah Sillars OBE, Chief Executive of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies said: “It is absolutely vital we do all that we can to close the skills gap as the workforce ages and birth rates fall. As a country we need to take a new approach to getting our messages into the heart of the education system and it is very positive that Siemens has recognised the need to cultivate UK talent for future prosperity and economic growth. The portal really could be a game changer in the way in which businesses interact with the education system.”

Siemens has already invested in the up-skilling of young people interested in engi-neering and manufacturing through the sponsorship of a number of University Technical Colleges across the UK. The business also took on over 160 apprentices in 2012, which for the first time exceeded the number of graduates recruited at the global engineering powerhouse. Siemens already have a number of programmes with managers and employees supporting local schools across the UK

http://www.siemens.co.uk/education/en/