Siemens tackles skills gap with UK’s first engineering education and careers portal for schools

Siemens has today launched a groundbreaking new education and careers scheme

for engineers in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, Department for
Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Siemens Education Portal will for the first time allow teachers,
students and parents to access a central hub of information to be used in
the classroom explicitly designed to encourage young people to engage with
engineering and manufacturing related subjects.

The portal will be rolled out to 5,000 schools across the UK by 2014 aiming
to reach over 1.95 million pupils within the first year and 4.5 million by
2016. The launch was held today (28 February) at the Manufacturing Summit
hosted by Department of Business, Innovation and Skills at the Heritage
Motor Centre Motor Museum, in Gaydon.

The aim of the portal is to inspire students, support teachers and
communicate to parents the considerable opportunities open to young people
working in today’s industry and manufacturing environments. Initially the
portal will support the 11 to 14 age group with plans to expand the age
range over the next two years.

The scheme will host a range of interactive education materials supporting
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects;
from highly interactive schemes of work for practical application in the
classroom to engaging 3D games based on some of the most ground breaking
industrial projects and tech-nologies in the UK. The content will connect
teachers, and young people through a range of curriculum based schemes of
work and interactive teaching methods.

All the materials draw upon the technical expertise of Siemens as well as
experienced curriculum developers and can be enhanced by inviting a Siemens
employee into a school to provide the benefit of their own experiences and
expertise in the subject matter. The content will draw from the Siemens
Energy, Infrastructure and Cities, Healthcare and Industrial Sectors

The schemes of work include exploring the challenges facing product
designers when designing vehicles for an urban environment, developing
sustainable water supplies and creating sustainable energy supplies for
modern cities using wind farms.

Juergen Maier, Siemens Industry Managing Director said “It remains vital
that we all play our role in developing talent for the future to replace the
ageing workforce in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. The only way
to change the perceptions of engineering and manufacturing is to target
children as young as nine– and really explain how exciting working in this
field is.

The portal we have developed is a unique and new way of reaching young
people interested in working in engineering. We are passionate about showing
aspiring stu-dents, girls as well as boys that working in areas such as high
value manufacturing can really lead to a solid and long term career.

If we are to rebalance the economy we need to be developing the skills now
to fill the jobs of the future. We know that sustained public and private
investment in this area is essential if we are to win the global skills race
and create sustainable growth.”

Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills said: “Siemens are to be congratulated
on this innovative new programme to get more young people into engineering.
Engineers have highly adaptive skills which are valuable across our whole
economy and our future competitiveness in the global race will depend on
attracting the brightest and best talent into this rewarding career.

The Government is very active in all policy areas from schools,
apprenticeships, higher education, talent retention, and working with
companies such as Siemens to tell the real story about engineering and
inspire young people.“

Sarah Sillars OBE, Chief Executive of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for
Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies said: “It is absolutely
vital we do all that we can to close the skills gap as the workforce ages
and birth rates fall. As a country we need to take a new approach to getting
our messages into the heart of the education system and it is very positive
that Siemens has recognised the need to cultivate UK talent for future
prosperity and economic growth. The portal really could be a game changer in
the way in which businesses interact with the education system.”

Siemens has already invested in the up-skilling of young people interested
in engi-neering and manufacturing through the sponsorship of a number of
University Technical Colleges across the UK. The business also took on over
160 apprentices in 2012, which for the first time exceeded the number of
graduates recruited at the global engineering powerhouse. Siemens already
have a number of programmes with managers and employees supporting local
schools across the UK