5 November 2015

All this week, schools and colleges across the country have been celebrating Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2015, a national campaign to inspire young people to consider a career in engineering.

With the engineering industry facing a skills shortage, the UK needs to come up with a solution to attract 1.82 million new engineers by 2022.

With this shortfall of skills, it’s important that we find ways to inspire potential young engineers and to communicate the various career pathways to them at a young age.

While many learners choose higher education training routes by taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, there are also numerous alternative routes into engineering careers available to learners of all ages and abilities

There were 726,000 students studying STEM subjects in UK colleges in 2013/14 but 28% of firms who need STEM-qualified technicians are already reporting difficult in recruiting and the industry is finding it increasingly challenging to attract female workers.

But with a range of career opportunities available to tomorrow’s engineers across industries, from space and transport to sport and green energy, a qualification in a STEM subject can help learners become more employable and work in a variety of niche and interesting areas. The Tomorrow’s Engineers website has a great selection of stories to inspire your learners and potential applicants to sign up to a qualification in engineering.

At ABC Awards we offer a number of Entry Level and Level 1 routes into engineering for learners who are ready to begin their engineering careers. Qualifications are available in fabrication and welding and in motor vehicle studies, both with a range of flexible, specialist pathways that will prepare the next generation with the skills needed to work in these competitive industries.

At the ABC Awards Showcase Centre for Fabrication and Welding, Chesterfield College offers our full range of fabrication and welding qualifications from Level 1 to Level 3.

They inspire young people to take engineering qualifications by engaging with learners at taster sessions and open evening throughout the year. Potential learners interested in fabrication and welding are invited to the college for taster events while being mentored one-to-one by one of their advanced apprentices or full-time students undertaking the ABC Awards Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding.

Ray Peet, Deputy Head of Learning Advanced Technologies, said:

“We feel that having an appropriate fabrication and welding student ambassador who is positive, has skills and a determination to succeed will inspire the next generation of welder and fabricators.

“We also have "e-welding" resources which allows schools students to interact with the resource whilst improving their skills and knowledge. Virtual reality welding provides students with an opportunity to try welding in a way that is fun, exciting, safe and engaging."

The college also has an engagement team who works directly with schools to deliver sessions about different career options and breaking down gender barriers. Later this month the college will be hosting a replica of Bloodhound, the car that will attempt to break the land speed record next autumn.

More than 100,000 young people in the UK, including hundreds in Derbyshire, will get the chance to see the replica car and find out how the best of the STEM world have created this feat of engineering. Plus, they’ll have the chance to build their own jet powered car and talk to employers like Rolls-Royce about STEM qualifications and job opportunities.

ABC Awards worked collaboratively with Chesterfield College to develop the fabrication and welding qualifications to ensure they continually meet the needs of employers and offer a flexible approach to young learners who may still be making choices about their future career paths.

Ray added:

“There is a skills shortage in the industry and we required qualifications that would bridge this gap and the flexibility from ABC Awards was just what was needed to allow us to develop the skills required in engineering and manufacturing, talents much in demand in the UK market.”

Learners from Chesterfield College have progressed from full-time courses to apprenticeships with fabrication and welding companies, with many achieving distinction grades and completing additional units to gain multiple skills they can offer to engineering companies.

To find out more about the qualifications we offer in fabrication, welding and motor vehicle studies, please click here to our qualification suites.