The Royal Academy of Engineering, with generous support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, has launched a new programme of Visiting Teaching Engineers (VTEs) which will place 15 professional women engineers into teaching roles in further education (FE) colleges across the UK.

The engineers will support lecturers by bringing frontline industrial knowledge and experience to the classroom.

The VTE programme, which runs from 2016-18, will also provide valuable role models and encourage women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to pursue careers as professional engineers and technicians. Currently, seven times as many men as women teach engineering in FE colleges.

The scheme is part of a range of initiatives being developed by the Academy to support STEM in the FE sector, which plays an important role by training the majority of the UK’s professional technicians – the hands-on workforce with technical skills that help create, fix and maintain equipment and infrastructure in  industries from farming to pharmaceuticals. The programme also supports efforts, led by the Academy, to promote diversity across the engineering profession.

Dr Rhys Morgan, the Academy’s Director of Engineering and Education said: “In order to maintain the UK’s capabilities and support economic recovery, engineering employers will need to recruit 182,000 people with engineering skills every year.  Currently, there is a shortfall of 69,000 advanced technicians and engineers a year. To bridge this gap it is essential that more women are encouraged to become engineers. We are most grateful to the Motorola Solutions Foundation for supporting the VTE programme which we are sure will set a benchmark and encourage similar initiatives.”

Notes for editors

  1. Research by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, reported in their Profile of the science, engineering and technology teaching workforce in the college sector in England, found there to be seven times as many men as women among those FE engineering teachers who responded.
  2. According to the latest Engineering UK analysis, engineering companies are projected to need 182,000 people with engineering skills each year to 2022. The UK faces a shortage of approximately 69,000 advanced technicians a year.
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession
  4. The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

For more information, please contact:

Stylli Charalampous at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0644
E: Stylli Charalampous