The giant energy firm Shell has announced the launch of a new £1m programme of investment, designed to tackle the shortfall in engineering, technology, maths and science skills among Scottish schoolchildren.
The programme is called Tomorrow’s Engineers and will provide real hands-on experience in engineering, with the hopes that up to 160,000 jobs in this sector will be filled by 2020.
Shell has estimated that this is the number of skilled engineers that Scotland will have to find by that time, to be able to meet the anticipated demand. The average shortfall per year in people qualifying with those skills, across the UK, is currently at approximately 81,000.
Children aged 11-14 years old are eligible to participate in Tomorrow’s Engineers, with Shell hoping that the practical programme will excite and engage young people with engineering.
The company is already an industry leader in energy and petrochemicals, thanks to lubricants like Shell Tellus S2 M 32 and Shell Gadus S2 V100 3, which are utilised around the world. Programmes like this one are said to show the firm’s commitment to the future.
At the launch of the scheme in Aberdeen, Shell UK’s chairman, Erik Bonino, said:
“We need to inspire the next generation of Scottish scientists and engineers, and this starts in the classroom. Shell’s investment will enable today’s students to unearth hidden talents and help them become the innovators of tomorrow.”
It is hoped that Tomorrow’s Engineers will also prove successful at increasing interest in engineering among girls, with women currently making up just seven percent of engineering workers in the UK.