(L-R) Future Engineers and Transition Year students John, Emma, Molly and Kevin are pictured with Dean McLoughlin, Senior Technical Officer at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, as they try their hands at assembling a Siemens Green Power Car in DCU’s Engineering Labs as part of the STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme which is being hosted at the university during Engineers Week 2020.
Co-ordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, the Engineering Your Future initiative aims to inspire future generations of STEM talent in Ireland by providing Transition Year students with a meaningful, practical insight into the exciting and diverse world of engineering at third level and as a career. Over 550 students will participate in the STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme from March – May 2020 at 18 third level institutions and ESB offices across Ireland.
Over 80 Transition Year students will engineer their future at DCU, TU Dublin-Blanchardstown Campus and ESB Dublin, Limerick and Sligo as they take part in the eighth annual STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme during STEPS Engineers Week 2020.
With over 91% of engineering employers in Ireland reporting skills shortages as a barrier to growth within the engineering sector, the STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme aims to inspire future generations of STEM talent in Ireland by providing Transition Year students with a meaningful, practical insight into the exciting and diverse world of engineering at third-level and as a career.
The initiative is coordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and industry leaders ARUP, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) – and hosted by third-level institutions and ESB.
Established in 2013 with just five third-level partners, 2020 marks the eighth year of the STEPS Engineering Your Future programme with 18 third-level institutions and ESB hosting 550 students during the week-long immersive engineering experience in locations throughout Ireland from March – May 2020.
Commenting on the Transition Year Programme, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “Our recent survey of members has indicated that over 5,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector this year. While this demand is very positive, engineering employers are facing an acute shortage of available talent to take up these employment opportunities. The reality is that the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet employers’ future needs for graduates.
“Through the STEPS Engineering Your Future Programme, we encourage Transition Year students to explore the limitless opportunities a career in engineering offers through engagement with lecturers, engineering professionals and site visits to engineering organisations. As a direct result of this positive engagement, over 95% of students who took part in the programme in Spring 2019 said they are studying at least one STEM subject for Leaving Cert and 52% are planning to study a STEM subject at third-level.”
Ms Spillane also encouraged industry to play an increasing role in participating in the STEPS Engineering Your Future programme: “It is absolutely crucial that industry works with the education sector to make technical areas like engineering appealing and stimulating. Industry can support the STEPS Engineering Your Future programme by opening their doors for site visits, by taking part in showcase events, or indeed, by following the lead of ESB who offer an industry version of the STEPS Engineering Your Future programme in a number of locations throughout Ireland.”
For more information, please contact:
Anne-Marie Clarke, Engineers Ireland
Tel: 01 6651307/ 0876920894
Image by Julien Behal