TfL has announced its support for the Year of Engineering campaign, which is taking place over the course of 2018, and aims to debunk some of the myths around the profession and inspire the next generation of engineers. The campaign, led by the Department for Transport, will achieve this in a number of ways, including showcasing and celebrating the contributions that engineering makes to society.
There are a number of exciting projects taking place in the transport industry, from designing new river crossings, more accessible stations and building cycling infrastructure to the opening of the Elizabeth line. It's an interesting sector for young people to work in and a career in transport offers the opportunity for young people to see the impact of their work every day. Transport not only has the power to get people from A to B, it shapes cities and regions, develops economies and supports new homes and jobs.
However, the transport industry is currently facing a skills gap, which is why the Year of Engineering campaign is vital to attract new talent into a profession that they might not otherwise consider. While it is anticipated that there will be a shortfall of more than 55,000 people equipped to work in transport infrastructure by 2020, it is not just about numbers*. In order to ensure innovation and creativity, the engineering sector needs to make sure it reflects the diversity of the people that it delivers the projects for - this is as true for London as it is any other city or region. Currently, only one in eight engineering professionals are female and representation of people from BAME backgrounds is low *².
This is why TfL, along with London Transport Museum, is proud to be supporting the campaign and will be offering a range of activities and opportunities across the year, building on the work that it already does to encourage young people into the sector. As well as offering new opportunities for engineering apprenticeships, this will include:
George Clark, Director of Engineering at TfL, said: `We are proud to be supporting the Year of Engineering campaign with a whole range of activities going on throughout 2018 that will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of engineers. By reaching children and young adults, we will be able to show them how they can channel their passions into a rewarding career in the future that will enable them to make a real difference to life in London.'
Joanna Ho, Lead Design Engineer at TfL, said: `As a traffic design engineer, I've been able to work on a range of different projects, from walking and cycling schemes to bus reliability improvements. My career at TfL has allowed me to achieve my goal of working in a challenging role, helping to provide Londoners with more sustainable transport choices. I really enjoy the balance of office work and site visits, and engaging with those who have an interest in our projects. People often think being an engineer is about working on site in a hard hat, so this campaign is a great opportunity to highlight the variety that an engineering career can offer.'
Jessica Ellis, a third year Fleet apprentice at TfL, said: `I love being an engineering apprentice at TfL and the reaction I get when I tell people that my job involves maintaining the Tube trains. They find it really interesting, particularly as they don't expect a woman to be in the role. It's so rewarding seeing the impact of my work every day, knowing that what I do is vital to keep London moving. I am really excited about this campaign as it will break down misconceptions and help young people realise all of the different opportunities that they could enjoy in engineering.'
Notes to Editors