Chamber Chat with John Munro, station director Heysham 2 power station
AS one engineering project – the M6 link road - comes to an end we must not lose sight of the need to encourage more of our young people to see engineering as a fruitful and fulfilling career.
Here at the power stations we have 1500 people who are involved in engineering everyday, using cutting edge technology to create electricity.
We are about to welcome the latest intake of 13 year-one apprentices who join us at the end of the month. A number of this 2016 group will go on to take senior roles within EDF Energy, but UK PLC needs more engineers.
The sites’ Visitor Centre welcomes people to see its energy exhibition and also the power stations.
Many youngsters pass through our doors and we hope they will want to return to work for us or other engineering companies in the future.
It is vital that pupils are encouraged to maintain their interest in science, technology and maths and take up engineering as a career.
But how do our youngsters get a positive view of engineering and technology? There are more and more TV science programmes.
The local schools and colleges also make it clear that engineering is a great career to pursue. But we all need to play our part in making it clear the importance of engineering.
At the Visitor Centre we are a part-way through a summer science club, where we are getting very young pupils to design electricity pylons using pasta and marshmallows.
The winner was a four-year-old girl who created a superb pylon, showing that engineering can be instinctive and fun.
As a country we have to ensure that engineering careers are seen as prestigious and valued, especially as we are heading into a new century which will need creative minds to develop innovative solutions.