Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Our work on projects around the country gives us a real opportunity to make a difference in the communities we work in. In North Wales, we’ve been doing lots of work with local schools.
Our children’s energy and intelligence are the two most important resources we have in tackling the energy-related challenges our society faces. To continue to compete on a global level, the Royal Academy of Engineers estimates we’ll need roughly a million more engineers and technicians by 2020 – a tall order considering just 51,000 join the industry each year.
Our former Chief Executive, Steve Holliday, said: “How can there be so much demand from employers but so little supply? The key word is choice. In my view, one of the barriers to young people making the right choices is a lack of good careers advice.”
National Grid & VEX at The Big Bang Fair
That’s why we’re working really hard to break down the barriers between work and education. The best way to do this? A hands-on, practical approach. VEX Robotics helps us achieve this.
VEX allows school children to design robots and use them in a series of trials that test their technical abilities, including making their robot pick up objects and throw them at targets.
Activities like these let young students tackle basic engineering problems in a fun, imaginative way – using sensors, motors, 3-D modelling software and remote control gadgetry. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are the pillars of engineering but can often be seen as dull, boring and male-dominated.
Overcoming these outdated stereotypes is crucial in bridging the skills gap our country faces. We have the lowest proportion of female engineers in the whole of Europe. And so far so good – we’ve learnt that 92 per cent of students are more interested in engineering and robotics after our involvement with VEX.
Together with VEX Robotics, we’re disregarding stereotypes and breaking down barriers. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with schools across Anglesey and inspiring the next generation of engineers.