On a mission to inspire tomorrow’s engineers

Tomorrow’s Engineers is a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers by really shouting about the difference people in the industry make to the world, says Tamzin Caffrey, head of communications at EngineeringUK

When we asked engineers what we should be telling young people to inspire them about engineering careers during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week this year, three quarters of you wanted to let young people know that engineers make the world a better place. And around 7 in 10 of you felt young people should know that engineers help find innovative solutions (71%) and shape the way we live (69%).

This year’s campaign very much takes that into account and features engineers on a mission to make a difference. The impact you make is wide ranging and so we hope you’ll take to social media (#TEWeek18) to share what you do with the potential engineers of the future. You might work on projects that make water safe to drink, you might design or repair machines that improve quality of life or help people have safe and enjoyable holidays. We need to get the message out there that engineers are behind so much more than people may think, solving problems and innovating to improve lives.

We’ve created 5 new films each introducing an ‘engineer on a mission’ to showcase some of the incredible things engineers do to make a difference to the things young people care about. They feature Bob Gould and Marc Anderson from Robertson Civil Engineering, who are on a mission to keep otters safe on Scottish roads and AECOM’s Roshni Wijesekera, whose work aims to keep people safe and secure in an emergency. Jack Hooper talks about helping to improve mental health with his doppel wristband while Dave Cooper from Aardvark is all about special effects and entertainment. Serena Cunsolo, a PHD student at Portsmouth University who was part of The Ocean Cleanup, is on a mission to stop plastics from entering our rivers and oceans.

tomorrow’s engineers

These engineers on a mission will be the stars of films and a unique Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly which offers schools across the UK the chance to take part in the same live-stream assembly on engineering careers on 7 November. It features a panel of inspiring engineers who will discuss their careers and the positive impact engineering has on the issues young people care about most, such as protecting the environment, animal welfare, safety and security, health and entertainment.

This is the first Big Assembly we’ve done and we’re hugely excited to be able to share such inspiring stories and such positive messages with young people about where a career in engineering could lead them. Over 300 schools have already signed up with tens of thousands of students expected to take part, who will be able to ask questions to the panel in advance and live via social media. And because we want to inspire even more youngsters to consider a career in engineering, the whole thing will be available to view online from the following day. If you work with schools, do encourage them to register to join in.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is all about showcasing the the innovative, the unsung and inescapable wonder of what engineers are working on

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week works because individual engineers, engineering employers, educators and professional institutions join forces to shine a spotlight on engineering careers. As the Year of Engineering moves towards its end, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us all to inspire tomorrow’s engineers by really shouting about the difference people in the industry make to the world. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the many different routes into engineering, whether that’s vocational training, an apprenticeship or university degree. Everyone’s journey is different.

We need more women working in engineering, more ethnic diversity in the workforce and we need to improve representation from low socio-economic backgrounds. The more collective noise we make the wider the message will go and we want young people, girls and boys, whatever their background and wherever they live to hear it. So, get involved in any way you can!

We’ve got some great stories of engineers using their skills to address both local and global issues and I expect you do too. If you and/or your company are on social media, please share the @Tomorrows_Eng films and tweets with your followers. If you have bit more time, you could take inspiration from our heroes and create your own #EngineerOnAMission social media posts or short film.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is all about showcasing the incredible, the innovative, the unexpected, the unsung and inescapable wonder of what engineers are working on across the UK. There’s no knowing what will spark one young person’s imagination, but it could just be the story you have to tell.

Tamzin Caffrey is head of communications at EngineeringUK

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week runs 5 to 9 November 2018. For more information about the Week or the Big Assembly and/or to download templates and toolkits with easy ways to get involved, go to www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/teweek.