Thursday, 29 November 2018

Open up the world of engineering to your students

Jane Austin, Head of Engineering at Network Rail explains how LiketoBe is helping her and Network Rail to inspire the next generation of engineers.

I have supported and wanted to be involved with LiketoBe because there are just not enough girls and boys who want to become engineers, the simple point is we need more of our younger generation to want to be engineers and how can we be part of making this change. LiketoBe is a great opportunity and way to be able to encourage children to become engineers.  Why, because they will have access to qualified engineers that can answer and support their questions and enable them to understand what engineers really do.

We need to help the education departments, as not many teachers have ever been an engineer, therefore are they really promoting it and if they are, how are they promoting it?  The point is I do not think our younger generation really understand what these jobs are, what can an engineer do, what is available to them and the variations, as you could be a Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Railway, Aeronautical and many more. This is the perfect way to benefit schools, because the children can ask questions and obtain real time answers from engineers who are undertaking these roles and we can also post what we do from a day to day perspective so that they start to understand more about what an engineer can do.

The teachers can use this information to set workstreams in the classroom to enable and to encourage understanding of all the aspects of engineering and there will also be opportunities to run competitions to help engage students in an actual project.

Network Rail wants to encourage the next generation to want to be engineers, they offer opportunities such as work experience, apprenticeships and graduate intake to support these wider programmes, which is key to encouraging children into engineering.

Finally, I think it is important to give something back to the next generation and a great place to start is learning from other people’s experiences, which this platform can encourage.

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