London Transport Museum’s Enjoyment to Employment project is an educational programme that gives children, from toddlers to teenagers, the opportunity to engage with a range of skills and activities with the aim of sparking an interest in certain trades and areas of expertise.
Enjoyment to Employment aims to maintain the enthusiasm that children show for engineering and transport when they are young to the age of employment, with a longer-term goal of tackling the shortage of skilled engineers. London Transport Museum does this using its collection and by working in partnership with industry professionals, putting children in touch with real life role models.
The wide-ranging programme includes active and immersive sessions at the museum and in schools which make it clear how science, technology, engineering and mathematics can provide the practical know-how and attitudes that are useful for employment.
“This will be the first time that engineering classes will really be offered to children of primary and nursery age helping both parents and teachers understand the opportunities offered by transport and engineering,” said Sam Mullins, Director, of London Transport Museum. “This target will be in addition to over 145,000 children and young people that already participate in education programmes provided by the Museum.”
Young children will be encouraged to play and interact with real engineering equipment and objects including hard hats, uniforms, dispatch batons, pieces of track, and specialist testing equipment.
Sessions at the museum will allow pre-school and early primary school children to mend vehicles, help passengers with travel information and dress up as drivers and engineers. Participants, including children of nursery age, will also meet people currently working in the transport and engineering sectors.
Business leaders believe it is vital to give children and young people hands-on experiences if they are to really engage in a subject.
“Schemes such as Enjoyment to Employment are vital in helping to sustain the enthusiasm that all children and young people have for transport,” said Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director of Siemens Rail Systems UK. “More than half of all businesses expect difficulty in recruiting STEM skilled staff in the next three years and it will only get harder unless we take action now. The industry needs to work together to ensure children of all ages are excited about engineering and all the career opportunities it offers.”
A recent report by Engineering UK stated that Britain needs 69,000 more engineers than it is currently producing every year just to meet industry demand.