Engineers body says more technical skills needed to drive post-pandemic economic recovery
Ireland needs more technical and STEM skills amongst its graduates to support Ireland’s post-pandemic recovery, Engineers Ireland has said.
The body behind STEPS Engineers Week 2021, which has gone virtual this year, said that upgrading the country’s infrastructure, enhancing economic capacity and promoting balanced regional development must be priorities for government as part of the renewed National Development Plan (NDP), but a lack of technical and engineering skills remain a barrier.
Taking place nationwide from 27 February until 5 March, STEPS Engineers Week is coordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and industry leaders Arup, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
Highlights of the week-long campaign, which aims to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer, include a virtual weekend of Family Fairs; the Irish premiere of the Emmy-nominated Mission Unstoppable series, featuring STEPS Ambassador and NASA Datanaut, Fionnghuala O’Reilly; and on-demand virtual engineering shows for primary and secondary students by Explorium, Scientific Sue and other STEM professionals.
Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said: “The Government’s review of the NDP is to be applauded, but its renewed goals can only be achieved if the next generation of graduates are equipped with the necessary technical and STEM skills to drive this. There are still concerns amongst our members and industry partners about the insufficient numbers in this regard.
“STEM skills have tangible, practical, and immediate applications for our daily lives and we must highlight opportunities to foster these skills at primary and secondary level to empower the next generation to address global challenges. That is why campaigns like STEPS Engineers Week are so vitally important, not just for the sector, but to respond to Ireland’s future skills needs.
“By working collaboratively with engineering professionals, organisations, local authorities and schools across the country during STEPS Engineers Week, we can help to inspire our young people to explore the exciting world of STEM and the limitless opportunities a career in engineering can offer, so that they too can be equipped to respond to societal needs in the future,” Spillane added.
For more information visit: https://www.engineersireland.ie/schools