Seventy per cent of young people are attracted by the image of a STEM career, Semta races to consolidate their interest.
Now is a time for celebration and optimism for the future of manufacturing in the UK. Or so it certainly seems with the advent of the Global Manufacturing Festival, hosted this year in Sheffield, and the return of the Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at ExCel, London this Thursday.
The Big Bang fair was launched in 2009 in order to enthuse young people about the possibility of a career in industries using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, and to give a platform for existing young talent. This year the event will be held from March 10-12 at ICC London ExCel and the sector skills council for manufacturing, Semta, is keen to capitalise on the chance to galvanise a generation is engineering enthusiasts.
Having surveyed over 100 visitor to the Semta stand last year the sector skills council was encouraged to find that the image of manufacturing and STEM careers in general, as boring and without prospects is changing among young people. Survey results showed:
•70% of young people were attracted by the image of a STEM career
•58% believe the pay is good
•44% were attracted by the belief that STEM offers the opportunity to make a difference
Seeking to build on this positive trend Semta will be demonstrating the racier side of a manufacturing career by giving visitors to it Big Bang stand the opportunity to drive an F3 racing car simulator. While they wait there will be careers advice from experts, apprentices and graduates working for some of the UK’s biggest manufacturing employers.
Semta will be joined on its stand in the Go Global area of the North Hall by BMW Group, Ford and Vauxhall and will have careers information from the UK Electronic Skills Foundation, marine, aerospace, metals, mechanical and electrical sectors. Together they will provide first hand advice to young people, parents, advisors and teachers on the extensive options available for a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related industries.
Recent Semta research reveals that 30,000 recruits will be needed in these UK sectors between now and 2016 to replace retirees and support growth areas such as advanced manufacturing.
Philip Whiteman, Chief Executive of Semta said: “With the recent recession and government cuts, it has never been more important to help employers in our sectors recruit the talent they need to succeed. Importantly, employers recognise that young people do not always receive the encouragement to consider a career in science, manufacturing or engineering. So events like Big Bang are a great showcase for students, parents and teachers to see all the opportunities our industries have to offer.”
Employers too are encouraged to visit the Semta stand where they will be able to gain clarification on the skills landscape and their role in helping young STEM talent to become qualified.