The number of 14-19 year olds studying towards a Diploma in Engineering has rocketed 50 per cent in the qualification’s second year since launching in 2008.
More than 3,840 young people signed up to the Diploma in September, compared with roughly 2,500 students the year before.
“The students who started the course in September 2008 have really enjoyed it and this has influenced numbers for 2009/10,” says Philip Whiteman, chief executive of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, which helped develop the course.
“The country needs many more young engineers to safeguard its future economic prosperity. The Diploma in Engineering is designed to deliver a workforce that is ready to meet the demands of industry and this new qualification is critical in developing the next generation of engineers.”
The Diploma gears up young people for the world of work by offering both classroom-based teaching and workplace training in schools, colleges, independent training advisers and employers themselves.
Mike Evans, director of engineering and technology at RWE npower, the energy giant, adds: “For UK companies to remain competitive in the future they will need young people with skills that are relevant to the environment they will be working in.
“Input from employers ensures this diploma helps industry while providing young people with the skills they will need to find work once they leave education.”