Mr Mercer has pledged his support for a national campaign to get more young people into engineering, joining government and industry in a united effort to tackle a major skills gap.
The Year of Engineering, which launches in January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.
Johnny will be supporting the campaign in Plymouth Moor View through his regular visits to schools in order to encourage young people to consider the experience of modern engineering.
The Plymouth Moor View MP joins more than 30 MPs who made pledges to support the campaign in their constituencies at an event in Parliament on Wednesday 6 December. The event was jointly hosted by government and the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), marking the publication of its annual Skills Survey report – which looks at the skills challenges faced by engineering and technology employers in the UK. Pledges of support from Johnny and other MPs will play an important role in helping to tackle this skills challenge.
The commitment comes as the UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year, with half of companies in the sector saying the shortage is having a significant impact on productivity and growth. By bringing young people from all backgrounds face to face with engineering experiences and role models, the campaign aims to showcase the creativity and innovation of engineering careers and widen the pool of young people who consider the profession, diversifying a workforce that is 91% male and 94% white.
More than 350 partners have signed up to support the Year of Engineering, including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail. Teaming up with partners from many different sectors, the Government will deliver a year of UK-wide school visits, exhibitions and open doors events – all aimed at encouraging young people and their parents to take a closer look at engineering.