BAE Systems launched its Engineering Roadshow this week for year 7 pupils at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic College in Southwark, London.
The Roadshow was aimed at young people to raise awareness about careers and opportunities in science, technology and engineering. It is hoped that the scheme will motivate young people to take up careers in engineering and help increase the UK’s skills base for future economic growth said Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director of BAE.
“We know that an additional 514,000 science and technology professionals will be needed in the UK by 2017 yet almost half of 7-11 year olds surveyed described a career in engineering as boring,” he added.
According to research conducted by the Royal Academy of Engineering, 58% of pupils, eligible for free school meals did not achieve Grades A-C in GCSE Mathematics and children from minority ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately over-represented amongst those that do not achieve Grades A-C in GCSE sciences.
BAE gave talks and presented a fun performance play to educate and inform school children about the new developments in military technology such as infrared cameras and aircraft sensors. An interactive workshop was also set up for the pupils involving computer controlled robots.
The roadshow was a hit with 11 year old pupil Annabel Omo-Ovieghara, who said: “We found out about really exciting technology at the show and learned that everyone has the chance to create it. Science and engineering are open to all no matter what your gender or where you come from.”
The event was also attended by members of the Royal Airforce who work closely with BAE Systems. Air Commodore Nigel Beet, OBE said: “The RAF seeks to attract world-class engineering skills to support technologically advanced aircraft and operating systems. Our RAF recruiting teams support this roadshow and offer career advice and support.”
He added: “We remain keen to attract more applications from girls and ethnic minorities despite winning Gold Award status on race and gender inclusivity.”
The roadshow will spend a week each in schools in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. Over the next ten months the initiative will reach more than 25,000 young people from over 240 schools nationwide. More than 160,000 young people have seen the roadshow since it was first launched in 2005 as part of the BAE’s Skills 2020 programme.