Energy & Utility Skills chief executive Nick Ellins has been made the first honorary fellow from the utility sector at two new institutions designed to nurture science, technology, engineering and maths skills in children.
Last month, Energy & Utility Skills partnered with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education promoter Primary Engineer to launch two new organisations: The Institution of Primary Engineers and The Institution of Secondary Engineers. These intend to change the way STEM skills are taught and nurtured in schools for children from the age of six.
The objective is to address the widening engineering skills-gap and improve pupils’ career pathways and employability through close collaboration with pupils, educators, industry, the STEM community and parents.
Other honorary utility fellows are expected to include Alison Fergusson, principal engineer at Ofwat; Jo Parker, vice president engineering at the Institute of Water; the chief engineer of Ofgem; and the chief engineer of National Grid. Their presence will help ensure good visibility of the water and energy sectors in the programme.
Ellins (pictured) said: “The utility sector has engineering in its very DNA, and that means an engineering mind set and not only mechanical tasks. The employers in gas, power, water and waste management serve 66 million people with complex environmental infrastructure and essential services every day. What they do underpins our very society. Helping school children at an early age to build that passion for helping others through engineering excellence is a core part of our Energy & Utilities skills strategy, and we are committed to helping the Institution of Primary Engineers and Institution of Secondary Engineers as they help society by growing the next generations of diverse talent.”