‘Engineering is the application of science to the needs of humanity’
The field of engineering is rewarding, exciting and offers more career options than any other discipline, but there is an ‘ageing engineering workforce’ and the industry must recruit sufficient numbers of young people to fill future engineering jobs.
Michael Leach, one of the apprentices taken on as part of the Pen y Cymoedd project, won Apprentice of the Year Award at the recent RenewableUK Gala Dinner (Liverpool 7th October 2015). Pen y Cymoedd is an onshore wind farm built in the county boroughs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, the wind farm is expected to be at full operational capacity by next year (2016). The £400m wind power project has been developed by Swedish company Vattenfall.
It was in 2012, that Vattenfall recruited apprentices to become wind turbine technicians and have monitored their progress, which has included 2 years of study at Neath and Llandrillo Colleges as well as practical training and they look forward to watching all their apprentices develop in the wind industry.
Michael was attracted to the apprenticeship because of his firm belief in the need for renewable energy and the future employment prospects that would come with the position. Michael states “Working in the wind industry is very interesting. I owe a lot to my lecturers both at Neath and Llandudno Colleges in Wales for their effort and hard work and the guys at PyC and Thanet Offshore Wind Farm for showing me the ropes.”
‘Society has a duty to showcase engineering industry’
Government, Schools, Colleges, Universities and the Engineering Industries have a collective responsibility to showcase engineering to young people, as we have a huge engineering skills challenge over the coming years and it is crucial to equip young people with the skills that meets the needs of our economy.
The occupational group most responsible for modern society is engineers - the industry is vital to society and economy, how better therefore can a young person secure their future?