Partnership that inspires the engineers of the future
Education Minister Tracey Vallois today praised Jersey Electricity for working with Government and schools to inspire the engineers of the future. Speaking at the launch of the 2020 Primary Engineer Leaders Award, for which JE is Industry Partner, Senator Vallois thanked JE for its support and said how important it was for schoolchildren to have the exciting opportunity of working with industry experts.
Under the banner ‘If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?’, the Leaders Award challenges primary and secondary school children to think like engineers and design a solution to an everyday problem. Run jointly by Skills Jersey and the UK’s Primary Engineer organisation, the aim is to engage pupils in the creativity and careers related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Tens of thousands of children across the UK take part and their designs are then selected and built by universities. Over 60 pupils from five schools attended today’s launch at Highlands where JE provided eight engineers to help them with their designs. The competition is open for entries until the end of March during which time JE engineers will be visiting participating schools to mentor entrants.
Skills Jersey’s Dave Roworth was delighted with the launch and particularly grateful to JE’s team of engineers who volunteered their time to inspire the pupils. 'It makes such a difference for students to be able to share their ideas with skilled professionals who are so clearly passionate about their work! Young people thrive on positive role models and real-life experience, thanks to this new partnership with JE, both were provided in abundance this morning!'
JE Director of Operations Mark Preece told the young audience: ‘Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to meet some of you again in a few years’ time working for Jersey Electricity. The future involves dealing with climate change, exploring new technology and digitalisation. All have the potential to positively transform how electricity is generated, distributed and used. For instance, we continue to develop our use of solar power, and the potential for tidal power, battery storage, smart homes and smart grids. This means new services and new technologies. To do this we need new talent.
‘In ten or 20 years’ time, people will be leaving school and university with skills that, at the moment, we don’t even know that we will need. So it is really important for the Island that our engineers of today help to inspire and enthuse the engineers of tomorrow. Good luck and have fun.’