Managing Director of Siemens UK and Ireland Industry Sector
Juergen Maier is the Managing Director of Siemens UK and Ireland Industry Sector, a leading global supplier of industrial plant and software, manufacturing automation and drive technologies to industrial customers across the UK.
How has your company engaged with young people and the community to improve the image of manufacturing?
Siemens has an extensive programme of engagement with young people. We have over 150 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) ambassadors who visit schools regularly to enrich the curriculum with real life experiences. We run various projects around the UK with partners such as:
– Women in Science and Engineering to give first hand experience of engineering and increase its appeal to a more diverse audience;
– The Manufacturing Institute’s ‘Make it’ campaign to enthuse young people from school about manufacturing;
– Supplemented with many site visits from schools and colleges to manufacturing and development locations throughout the UK;
Siemens is investing significantly in creative training materials and toolkits which are being used by our teams and partner organisations with schools and colleges to enthuse young people about STEM subjects.
What have you personally done to improve youth engagement with manufacturing?
I have personally championed many of the Siemens local and national programmes including our involvement with the Big Bang school science and technology fair which attracted over 50,000 students this year.
I also support the Greenpower programme which encourages schools to design, build and race electric cars involving over 200 schools and colleges and 10,000 students aged from 8 – 24. I was also instrumental in our involvement with the setting up of the Black Country University Technology College (UTC) and engage personally with school visits and programmes. I’m delighted to be extending this personal engagement to Make it in Great Britain.
What more needs to be done?
As a company we are investing heavily in the whole education and skills agenda.
However there is little doubt that there needs to be more and better understanding of engineering careers across all stakeholders. If we are not to fall behind our European and Asian competitors more emphasis has to be placed on the STEM skills at school and enthuse more students to take engineering at apprentice and university level.
At Siemens we are ensuring that we are working on this agenda at all levels:
– Working with schools and students from primary school through to University;
– We encourage employees to work directly with schools, local authorities and professional bodies;
– We have regular high level contacts with government to ensure that our message is reaching the right people, either directly or through influential bodies such as SEMTA or the EEF;
– Working in partnership with other companies to build a cohesive representation of engineering and manufacturing careers;
– Promoting the reality of what a career in manufacturing can mean to young people through Make it in Great Britain.