Add to Calendar Europe/London DD/MM/YYYY 17/6/2020 09:4517/6/2020 11:00STEM Education Policy webinar series: The impact of COVID-19 on education and skillsONLINE - Via Zoom


In this special instalment of the weekly STEM education policy webinar series, a panel of representatives from schools, further education, higher education, and industry will discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on engineering education and skills and consider if valuable lessons can be learned from this crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis may have profound implications for engineering education and skills and the future diversity of the profession. Most students have been unable to go to school since March and will not be returning until the new academic year in September. Teachers have been agile in providing educational resources and support for their pupils, however, many students - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – have been more difficult to reach.

Many engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships have been put on hold or withdrawn entirely, with apprentices either placed on furlough or made redundant. These impacts will be felt disproportionately by those on low level apprentices, who are much more likely to come from less affluent backgrounds. Rates of poverty amongst black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are twice that of white communities and research shows that BAME students are more likely to receive unfavourable teacher-assessed GCSE and A-level grades than their white peers.

These issues will combine to widen educational disadvantage and restrict access to engineering at a time when we need a generation of talented and diverse engineers to help rebuild the economy. Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE will chair the event to discuss these issues, along with a panel of:

  • Rebecca Cramer, Founder and Director of Education at Reach Academy Feltham, an outstanding free school in Hounslow
  • Ian Gaskill, Director at the National Forum for Engineering Centres (NFEC)
  • Dame Judith Hackitt DBE FREng, Chair of Make UK, the manufacturing trade body
  • Dr Ollie Folayan, Chairman of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK)
  • Professor Danielle George, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, University of Manchester


Tickets are free of charge; however, registration is required. All confirmed registrations will receive an email with the link to join the online event. 

For further information please contact Guy Paul, Education Policy Assistant, Royal Academy of Engineering.