Siemens and London Transport Museum will today launch a unique partnership to encourage young people into transport-related jobs and reduce the skills gap facing Britain’s transport and engineering industries. The partnership will be launched at a Westminster event attended by skills minister Nick Boles.

Last year, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found that at least 87,000 new engineers were needed each year in the UK. The Inspire Engineering programme was established by London Transport Museum to bridge the gap between demand for engineering skills and current low levels of the supply, supporting the growth of the burgeoning transport sector in the UK.

Dedicated events, workshops and open days will target Key Stage 2 (7-11-year-olds) and Key Stage 3 pupils (11-14-year-olds), aiming to encourage them to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and demonstrate the career options these subjects lead to.

As part of the three-year-programme, Siemens will lend its experience as a leading employer in STEM subjects to inspire young people to get into engineering.

Ten Siemens engineers currently working within the company’s transport division will be nominated as ‘engineering ambassadors’ to share their career insights through the online portal STEMnet, as well as taking part in student events at the London Transport Museum.

siemens london transport museumThe partnership follows a range of Siemens initiatives to promote engineering in the UK. Last year, Siemens launched The Curiosity Project – a three-year programme designed to engage with young people and broaden existing investment to bolster the STEM subjects in the UK.

Siemens also launched the first-of-its-kind education portal, providing teachers, students and parents with access to a hub of information in engineering and manufacturing-related subjects, coupled with a nationwide network of employees trained to host transport-themed workshops in schools. Siemens has over 400 current engineering vacancies in its transport division alone. In 2015, the division will take on 42 new apprentices to supplement an existing cohort of 93.

Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Rail Systems at Siemens, said:
“Through this partnership with London Transport Museum, we hope to inspire young people to take up STEM subjects and help develop the next generation of great British engineers. We know how important it is to inspire school children at this crucial stage in their lives but we also know what great fun and how exciting careers in engineering can be. I am delighted that this project will allow us to put the insight our employees can give to good use.”

“Never before has it been so crucial to encourage young people to study sciences and other STEM subjects. Major infrastructure projects such as Thameslink depend on British engineering know-how, and the same holds true for future megaprojects. We cannot allow the skills gap to derail the growth of Britain’s rail industry and the broader transport sector.”

 Skills Minister Nick Boles said:
“The rail industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers that must be addressed. That’s why I’m delighted to support this new partnership between Siemens and the iconic London Transport Museum to inspire young people to consider a career in the rail industry. By sharing their personal experience and stories, Siemens engineers will bring the subject to life for young people about to make important decisions about what they study at GCSE.”

Sam Mullins, Director of the London Transport Museum, said:
“Our partnership with Siemens will enable more young Londoners to learn about the vital role engineers play in keeping London moving from the best possible source – the engineers themselves.” 

“Thanks to the support of Transport for London and the Luke Rees-Pulley Charitable Trust the Museum has developed Inspire Engineering – an effective programme which ignites young people’s interest in transport engineering before they make crucial GCSE choices.” 

“Siemens with their wide-range of engineering expertise and long history of working in and for London are a fantastic partner with which to take this work forward and we look forward to working with them over the next three years.”