Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's End Stigma on Engineering Careers; SKILLS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's End Stigma on Engineering Careers; SKILLS

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE head of one of the North East's top technology firms says the region's economic future will be held back until engineering jobs are no longer perceived as "Cinderella careers".

Matt Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Gateshead-headquartered firm Sevcon, heads up the skills group at the recently-launched North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) - and has thrown his weight behind the Journal's Let's Work Together campaign, set up to address the region's skills gap.

Mr Boyle said the engineering professional has long suffered a stigma which he feels has led to a countrywide skills shortage.

He said: "Compared to other countries in western Europe engineers are looked down upon, which is a travesty.

"I think this attitude goes back to the industrial revolution when engineers were there to stoke the boilers. For too long engineering has been regarded as a Cinderella career.

"Let's Work Together is aimed at changing that perception, which has to be laudable and greatly welcomed in this region.

"Developing more engineers is essential to help balance our economy and deliver one of the important planks of our regional economic plan in creating higher quality jobs."

His comments come after Sevcon delivered opportunities to two 17-year-olds, Adam Linsley and Jack Oliver, who have taken up apprenticeships at the firm, which is at the forefront of cutting-edge green technology.

The pair, recruited through Tyneside based TDR Training, decided against trying for a university education in favour of applying for apprenticeships at the Team Valley base. Mr Boyle said their career choice is going just a small way to removing the stigma and that the newcomers will be working on next generation projects for the NASDAQ-listed business, which has customers across the globe.

Adam, from Ponteland, said he received little careers advice regarding engineering at school. …

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