News Story


In the Commons yesterday (Wednesday) the Prime Minister undertook to look at proposals from Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff to inspire more young people to take up careers in engineering, science and technology.
Following the launch of his campaign last week, Peter Luff put a question to David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions. Peter asked,

“If the Prime Minister agrees that the shortage of engineering skills is one of the greatest avoidable threats to our prosperity and security, and that the participation of women in engineering is scandalously low, will he encourage his colleagues to look favourably on the provisions of my Science, Technology and Engineering (Careers Information in Schools) Bill to inspire young people to take up the challenging and well paid careers in engineering, whether as graduates or apprentices?”

The Prime Minister responded saying,

“I will certainly look very carefully at the Bill that my hon. Friend puts forward. In the recent UCAS data, released today, one of the encouraging signs is that the number of people studying engineering and computer science has actually gone up quite radically. That is an early sign that the steps that have been taken over recent years—frankly, by Governments of all parties —to try to raise the status of and encourage engineering are beginning to have an effect.”

After Prime Minister’s Questions Peter commented,

“I was of course very encouraged by the Prime Minister’s response and I am pleased that he will look at my Bill.

“The results from UCAS are very promising and it is clear that things are moving in the right direction – but more needs to be done to address the real skills shortage that we face in this country.

“One of the biggest challenges that needs to be tackled is the lack of female engineers in this country and inspiring girls to get into and stay in these professions. We need to demonstrate to girls that engineering is no longer about oily rags but problem solving. Equal access to information on the modern reality of engineering and science at school would help achieve this.

“This is a very positive first step of my campaign, which I hope will continue to gain momentum over the rest of this Parliament.”

The Bill that Peter referred to in his question is the first stage of his campaign. The Ten Minute Rule Bill, entitled ‘Science, Technology and Engineering (Schools Careers Information)’ Bill, is aimed at school aged children and puts an emphasis on schools to provide opportunities and on Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure the provision of resources for pupils to develop an interest in the long neglected subjects of science, technology and engineering. Peter will introduce it to the House of Commons on 13th February.


Back to News