Engineering Companies

Siemens Scoops Up Engineering Graduates To Reduce Skills Gap In UK

Written by Seb Murray | Engineering Companies | Thursday 30th October 2014 13:20:00 GMT

European technology group Siemens is hiring droves of engineering graduates to help plug the UK's dearth of talent, opening up opportunity for UK engineering students.

© Photocreo Bednarek

© Photocreo Bednarek

Young engineering students who want a career in industry will do well to seek out Siemens, the European technology powerhouse. The company, which has 362,000 employees worldwide, is taking steps to reduce the UK’s worrying shortage of engineering talent with a recruiting drive to hire STEM graduates.

Siemens has joined up with OCR, the qualifications body, to deliver a curriculum to UK students designed to increase the skills of prospective engineers.

In addition, Siemens is currently training 400 apprentices in the UK and recruits approximately 100 graduate trainees from the region each year.

Its mission is to plug the skills gap which threatens to derail the growth of engineering and technology firms in Britain.

A recent survey by the Institute of Engineering Technology found that 76% of employers reported problems with recruiting senior engineers with five to 10 years’ experience, up from 48% in 2011.

Toby Peyton-Jones, HR director of Siemens, said that the UK needs to tackle the skills problem urgently by creating new and innovative partnerships.

He added: “As a sector, we must pull every lever to get the skills and talent pipeline moving again. It is vital for the future of young people, but we know that a highly-skilled economy also attracts inward investment, which is critical for sustainable growth.”

The new curriculum aims to deliver a range of units from the Cambridge National in Engineering Level 1/2 qualification. Modules in the joint programme include an energy project which explores the technologies being used to improve the efficiency and lower the running costs of a range of vehicles including Formula 1 racing cars.

The company hopes it will inspire the next generation of engineers, by helping them to apply knowledge in areas such as science, tech, engineering and maths to real-life projects.

Lord Baker, chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “All children should have the opportunity to learn by doing, as well as [by] studying. This will lead to a growing demand for education from 14 onwards. This is what our education system and our economy needs.”

Siemens says the course will be available at every school in England this year.

The company has been doing much to promote engineering in the UK.

Last year, it launched the UK’s first engineering education and careers portal which allows students to access a central hub of information in engineering and manufacturing-related subjects. The portal has been rolled out to 5,000 secondary schools across the UK, and the company aims to reach all schools by 2016.

Last month Siemens launched The Curiosity Project – a three-year engagement programme designed to broaden existing investment to bolster the STEM subjects in the UK.

For the next three years Siemens will support five major science-related festivals in the UK, each with a clear ambition to reach out to students to make the world of science available to them.

Mark Dawe, chief executive of OCR, said that the collaboration will help to engage employers to use their expert knowledge to deliver education material directly to students.

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