Earlier this week in Parliament an interesting discussion took place regarding the importance of Engineering which for me as a STEM Ambassador from an Engineering background is very inspiring, particularly if the Government is able to achieve the objectives that were set out by Chris Skidmore who is the Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education). Now of course it is easy to speak positively and much more difficult to achieve a good outcome. However if we promote these ideas widely, it is possible that it will pressurise the Government to achieve their promises. On the other hand they may be focusing on other priorities! The discussion was started by Stephen Metcalf who is the Essex Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock
SM: “Many businesses in my constituency depend on a constant flow of engineers entering the work- force. Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State tell the House how her Department is ensuring that enough young people take up engineering? What is she doing with other Departments to embed it in the curriculum?”
Clearly Andrea Leadsom did not bother to respond which is why Chris Skidmore responded:
CS: “May I start by thanking my hon. Friend for his work as the Government’s engineering envoy and for the work he has taken forward as part of our Engineering: Take a Closer Look legacy campaign? We have so far invested £406 million in maths, digital and technical education to help to focus on the shortage of science, technology, engineering and maths skills, but we must ensure that the “E” in STEM is equally vital, so we will be taking forward work to put engineering at the centre of our STEM strategy.”
So all we need to do now is remind the Government of the need to provide E along with M, T and S! As a member of IET I will certainly try to ensure that Leadsom and Skidmore are reminded regularly!