Inspiring the next generation of engineers at Big Bang @ Solent

Matchtech STEM ambassadors Selina Breed, Kirsty Cobb, James Mills and Matthew Hackett attended The Big Bang @ Solent last week, one of the largest interactive STEM careers fairs on the South Coast.

Over 750 young people aged 11– 16 from across the South were inspired by 60 businesses that provided interactive activities to show how exciting a STEM career can be.  With the skills shortage in many STEM industries reaching critical levels, the event was a great opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and help support the talent pipeline. 

Figures from EngineeringUK show just how critical these levels are within the UK engineering industry. The 2018 State of Engineering report states that there’s an annual shortfall of near 22,000 engineering graduates in the UK against the demand for approximately 124,000 engineers. Grahame Carter, Matchtech Managing Director, comments:

“Matchtech’s 2017 Voice of the Workforce research highlighted that the promotion of apprenticeships and engineering as a career choice to younger generations is seen by engineers as the most effective solution in addressing the skills shortage in the future. STEM initiatives like the Big Bang @ Solent give people across the engineering industry the opportunity to showcase how rewarding a career in engineering can be to inspire the engineers of the future.”

At the event, local businesses put on a variety of interactive events for the students in attendance, including the Matchtech STEM ambassadors, who worked with students to build balloon-powered vehicles. Selina Breed summarised the day:

“It was great to see so many students from our local area showing such enthusiasm for STEM subjects. Some of the students are only a few years away from deciding their academic path or looking for their first apprenticeship, which will shape their career path for years to come. Being able to show young people that a career in engineering is exciting, challenging and rewarding is hugely important. Encouraging students to continue studying STEM subjects is vital to help reduce the skills shortage in the future.”

You can find out more about the Big Bang @ Solent here or view our latest engineering jobs.

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