Summer holiday club tackles UK's engineering shortage

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The United Kingdom is facing a critical shortage of engineers, posing significant challenges to innovation, economic growth, and infrastructure development. This shortage not only affects the competitiveness of businesses but also threatens the country's ability to meet future technological demands.

With the average age of engineers in the UK currently riding at 54 years old, a recent study carried out by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board predicted 19.5% of UK engineers are due to retire by 2026, which will further exacerbate the already depleted engineering skills shortage.

Husband and wife team Chris and Karen King are making it their mission to plug the gap by introducing engineering to children through their Young Engineers programme. Initially started as an after school club, Young Engineers has recently joined forces with Oxford Active, a leading provider of quality holiday clubs, to widen the reach to more young people through a series of Summer holiday camps aimed at children aged 6-14 years old.

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Chris explains ‘I’ve been an engineer for 20 years now and I am passionate about the subject. With an expanding array of career paths now open to children, it is important to demonstrate to students the excitement and fulfilment a career in engineering can offer. We are in dire need of more young engineers to enter the profession.’

Summer Holiday Club ignites a passion for engineeringSummer Holiday Club ignites a passion for engineering
Summer Holiday Club ignites a passion for engineering

Karen continues ‘The world is changing and more and more women are now looking to engineering as a career. In fact, a recent study analysing UCAS data by Employment Lawyers Richard Nelson LLP, showed a 96% increase in women applying for undergraduate engineering degrees from 2011 to 2021. However, male applicants still outstrip female applications 4:1. Through our clubs I’m determined to show girls that they too can be engineers!’

The Young Engineers Summer Clubs introduce students to engineering concepts in interesting and engaging ways and include Lego building to demonstrate ideas. There is also a mix of indoor and outdoor activities during the day long camps.

Chris explains more ‘Children learn best when they are having fun. Our clubs are designed to introduce quite complicated topics such as centrifugal force in a way that children can understand and relate to.’

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The Young Engineers clubs run on 7th-9th August 2024 and 21st-23rd August 2024 at Sibford School.

Wes Westaway, Managing Director of Oxford Active commented ‘Parents have been asking for a STEM based holiday club for their children for some time and we have been looking for an organisation to team up with that delivers the quality experience that Oxford Active is renowned for. We are delighted to have found Young Engineers and are so impressed with how passionate Chris and Karen are about engineering. We know our families are really going to love these camps!’

Oxford Active is Ofsted registered and also offers a range of camps for ages 4-14 at multiple locations across the south of England including activities such as swimming, go-karts, archery tag and team games.

To find out more about when and where a Young Engineers Active Camp is running please visit https://www.oxfordactive.co.uk

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