MP's campaign to inspire young engineers 'gaining momentum'

First published in Business Daily

MID Worcestershire MP’s campaign to inspire more young people to take up careers in science, technology and engineering is gaining momentum, he says.

Conservative Peter Luff’s Bill on engineering skills, being introduced in the House of Commons tomorrow, has attracted cross-party support.

The MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, Science, Technology and Engineering (Schools Careers Information) Bill, is aimed at inspiring school-aged children to take up, enginnering careers. It puts an emphasis on schools to provide opportunities - and on Local Enterprise Partnerships to help pupils - to develop an interest in science, technology and engineering.

Since it was launched two weeks ago, Mr Luff has seen his campaign gain cross-party support. Sponsoring his Bill are Labour MPs, Meg Munn, Fiona Mactaggart, Nick Raynsford, former Education and Skills Committee Chairman Barry Sheerman and Mr Luff’s successor as Chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, Adrian Bailey.

The Bill also has the support of Liberal Democrat, Gordon Birtwistle and Conservative MPs, Education Select Committee Chairman Graham Stuart, former energy minister Charles Hendry, Chairman of the Defence Select Committee James Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Anne McIntosh and neighbouring Worcestershire MP and member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, Robin Walker.

Major engineering bodies, including the Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineering UK, the Engineering Council, the Institute of Civil Engineering and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering have also declared their support for the main aim of Mr Luff’s Bill.

Ahead of introducing his Bill tomorrow, he said: “I am delighted by the support my Bill has already received.

“It is very encouraging that members from both sides of the House recognise the real problem we have in the UK with a lack of young engineers and scientists and are keen to support my efforts to try and inspire a new generation, particularly girls, to take up careers in these sectors.

“Having spoken to the major engineering bodies I am confident that my Bill is the right step at the right time.

“I appreciate that there is very little of this Bill making it on to the statute book but my main hope is that the spirit of it will be adopted and that more young people will choose to study STEM subjects at school.

“I look forward to having constructive talks with Government to ensure real progress is made.”

The Ten Minute Rule Bill is the first stage in Mr Luff’s two-year campaign, before he stands down at the next election, to inspire more young people to take up careers in engineering, science and technology.

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