The 2018 Year of Engineering will tackle outdated perceptions of the profession and encourage diversity in the workforce, an MP has said.

This week more than 30 MPs pledged their support for the national campaign, which aims to reduce the skills gap. The government will work with industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their teachers and parents. The scheme will include at least one million “direct experiences of engineering” for people from all backgrounds, including behind-the-scenes visits and family days out.

Ministers committed to connect schools with local engineering firms and encourage businesses to take part in events.

“If we are going to create a country fit to meet all new challenges, we need to train the next generation of highly-skilled British workers,” said minister for transport, skills and Year of Engineering John Hayes. “Engineering and all it brings is at the heart of economic success and provides exciting opportunities of fulfilling careers through skills that will shape all our futures, but for too many employers a lack of skilled engineers is limiting growth.”

The value of engineering is “frequently underestimated,” said government envoy MP Stephen Metcalfe. “I welcome these pledges of support from my fellow MPs which will be vital in helping to drive this across the country.”

Hundreds of partners including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail support the project.

For more information, visit the Year of Engineering partner website or follow the campaign on Twitter.

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