Utility Week

Utility Week 8 July issue

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 8TH - 14TH JULY 2016 | 19 iably let water in, I wouldn't change a thing. Despite the sometimes terrible conditions and the lack of protection, working underground was the safest place I have ever worked because we all looked out for one another." This and other accounts will be part of a film showing at a new visitor centre in Pitlochry. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, email: paul.newton@fav-house.com. Pipe up Paul Jackson Engineering generates 27 per cent of UK GDP, employs more than 5.5 million people and supports 14.5 million jobs overall. Engineering and skilled engineers make a significant contribution to the UK economy and its productivity – as well as help to mitigate the global chal- lenges of climate change, food, clean water and energy. The oil and gas industry supports some 450,000 jobs across the economy and the Institute of Directors predicts shale gas production could create 74,000 jobs. Combined offshore and onshore wind sectors support about 30,000 jobs, with that number increasing each year. However, the gap between supply and demand for people with engineering skills is still large enough to trigger concern. The forecast annual demand for engineers and techni- cians is about 182,000, which given the current stock of engineers coming through the UK education system could mean an annual shortfall of 69,000 employees. This pre- sents a significant challenge. The skills issue won't magically go away. How- ever, through concerted and co-ordinated action, the engi- neering community (particu- larly employers) can make a demonstrable difference by working with schools and colleges to inspire future generations to pursue relevant qualifications and go on to careers in engineering. National Grid, Shell, Eon and UK Power Networks are among the employers supporting programmes to inspire future generations. We need more companies from the sector to help create a broad science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent pool early enough to make a difference. Tomorrow's Engineers aims to ensure no talent is wasted. The programme is led by the engineering com- munity and its collective ownership and collaborative spirit make it unique. It doesn't dictate how employers or schools should get young people engaged or work on the premise that one size fits all. Instead, it provides a platform for employers to grow the talent pipeline as part of a co-ordinated drive. In short, it's not just telling people how good engineering is, but empowering com- munities to be part of that story. That's communities in education through Big Bang @ School and communities of local employers supporting schools in their area. This growing group of employers is working to reach one million young people a year with a memorable experience of engineering in action. Mapping that work highlights hot spots, areas and schools that are engaged and active in STEM promotion. Tomorrow's Engineers can identify and target schools in cold spots where engineering outreach can have the greatest impact. Paul Jackson, chief executive, Engineering UK "The gap between supply and demand for people with engineering skills is still large enough to trigger concern" Operations & Assets "We need more companies from the sector to help create a broad STEM talent pool"

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