The Royal Academy of Engineering warmly welcomes the launch today of the government’s Year of Engineering 2018 campaign. From January, the year-long national initiative, working across government and with industry and profession partners, aims to give thousands of young people inspiring experiences of engineering, in a concerted bid to tackle the engineering skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.

The Year of Engineering campaign will encourage young people from all backgrounds, particularly 7-11 year olds and their parents and teachers, to take a closer look at engineering, challenging stereotypes and showcasing the variety and creativity of this forward-looking and innovative sector.

Engineering is one of the most productive sectors in the UK economy, contributing at least 20% of the UK’s gross value added and half of our exports. Yet there is a marked shortfall in qualified engineering professionals, and a lack of diversity in the profession – the engineering workforce is 94% white and 91% male.

The Year of Engineering aims to build on a multitude of national and regional initiatives that already promote engineering as a career choice, including the Academy’s own activities such as its Ingenious public engagement programme, and EngineeringUK’s hugely popular Big Bang Fair, which brings over 80,000 students and their families to the NEC every year to celebrate engineering. The annual Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will also be a highlight of the year with activities around the country.

The Year of Engineering will also see the Academy commence an exciting new digital marketing campaign that seeks to rebrand engineering for young people aged 13-18. This ambitious project is being developed with support from industry to be a more visible, powerful and unifying campaign than previous initiatives for a teen audience, and provide content that all engineering organisations can use to attract the next generation of talent.

This is Engineering is a partner in the Year of Engineering, and the two campaigns will work together in 2018 to catalyse greater public awareness of engineering, using aligned messages about engineering’s appeal and impact.

This is Engineering will continue beyond the end of 2018, encouraging more young people to pursue engineering, a task that will require a long-term, sustained intervention over multiple years.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“The Year of Engineering provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the benefits of engineering to the UK economy and the myriad different career options that are available for young people, building on and elevating the work delivered by the profession to date to engage young people with STEM, and engineering in particular. I welcome the government’s invaluable support in promoting the sector.

“Engineering is an exciting and stimulating job where you can make a real difference, improving and enriching people's lives, sometimes on a global scale.”

Notes for Editors

1.    The Year of Engineering launches in January 2018. To find out more, visit the Year of Engineering partner website or follow @YoEgovuk on Twitter.

This week, Year of Engineering partners are highlighting some of the many ways that individuals and organisations can #inspireanengineer on social media.

2.    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

For more information please contact: Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: jane.sutton@raeng.org.uk