The enthusiasm that has been developed around the We Made It! campaign is just the sort of action that will help to make a difference to improving public opinion of the manufacturing sector, MPs have said.
Gordon Birtwistle MP, George Freeman MP and Andrew Miller MP led parliamentary colleagues in congratulating the national winners of We Made It! at the launch of the Dods UK Manufacturing Dialogue report, We Made It! Manufacturing the skills for the future.
The report identifies the cultural, social and educational factors contributing to the skills gap facing UK industry and calls for constructive action to tackle these challenges.
The We Made It! campaign, which is an initiative from the Dods UK Manufacturing Dialogue, is aimed at getting young people thinking about careers in the sector and broadening their perceptions of what a career in manufacturing entails.
Two winning children took their ideas for a brand new product to the Fab Lab a digital fabrication laboratory based in Manchester to create prototypes of their invention that they showed off to MPs at the Houses of Parliament.
George Freeman MP, who invited local school children to the winners’ reception in Parliament, welcomed the We Made It! campaign for “recognising the need to engage young people in our manufacturing industries, and the necessity of building a culture of science and innovation, so we will be able to compete with the rest of the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and build a smart manufacturing industry for the 21st Century.”
Andrew Miller MP reiterated the skills gap and perception challenges facing manufacturers and the need for constructive action to address this head on.
“The fact that manufacturing has a perception problem is something that has always been of great concern to me. This report addresses many of the underlying reasons but it is more than just words", he said.
“The enthusiasm that has been developed around the “We Made It!” campaign is just the sort of action that will help to make a difference”, he said.
Gordon Birtwistle who has been a strong advocate for We Made It! in Parliament was shocked to see how poorly ranked the UK is for innovation, despite some of the most exciting engineers in the world, particularly in the aerospace industry.
“As the report highlights it is essential that parents and teachers recognise the importance of STEM subjects and attempt to overturn the stigma of working in the manufacturing industry. I welcome this report and look forward to continuing to work with Dods on this exciting campaign."
The Dods UK Manufacturing Dialogue and We Made It! is supported by Boeing, Finmeccanica, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lloyds Banking Group, The Manufacturing Institute, RenewableUK and the Confederation of Paper Industries.