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The transition to a low-carbon economy creates real career opportunities

Friday, August 16, 2013

Meg Munn MP recently met Peter Abson and Will Large from National Grid to discuss careers in science, engineering and technology, particularly for women. They told Meg that National Grid believe that the transition to a low-carbon economy creates real opportunities for UK businesses, but only if we have a workforce of skilled engineers able to develop and deliver new technologies. They estimate that 58% of new jobs in the economy in the next 10 years, and 29% of all jobs, will need a background in science, engineering, technology or maths (STEM).

National Grid have developed a range of programmes to bring engineering to life for young people, including ‘School Power’ sessions for primary school children based on exploring energy and material. The company also facilitate after school ‘Imagineering’ clubs for 11 year olds with hands on projects and organise challenging engineering projects for sixth formers through the Engineering Education Scheme.

In November 2012, National Grid opened a new 4 million training centre in Nottinghamshire, the High Voltage Technologies Facility, which is part of a 20 million development of their Learning and Development Centre at Eakring, near Newark. The Centre is the only one of its kind in the UK energy industry.

Regarding the numbers of women engaged in the workforce Peter told Meg that National Grid believes it is important to have a diverse workforce. The percentage of women currently in management positions is 25.5%, with 22.7% of employees throughout the company being women. Will emphasised that they do believe it is important to increase the attractiveness of engineering as a career for women, something they believe can be helped with good careers advice and female role models breaking down stereotypes.

Meg said:

“It is very encouraging that National Grid take seriously the need to increase the numbers of young people going into careers in engineering, and that they are keen to increase the participation of women in the industry. We know that children make their minds up early about possible future careers, so the work that is being done in primary schools is especially valuable.”

For information on the work in primary schools visit: http://www.nationalgrideducation.com/primary/

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