More than 450 transition year students are set to the take part in Engineers Ireland’s Engineering Your Future programme at 11 third-level institutions across Ireland throughout the month of May. With more than 94 per cent of engineering employers in Ireland reporting skills shortages as the main barrier to growth within the engineering sector, the Engineering Your Future Programme aims to inspire future generations of STEM talent in Ireland by providing Transition Year students with a meaningful, practical insight into the exciting and diverse world of engineering at third-level and as a career. More than 90 per cent of students who took part in 2016 said that the programme influenced their CAO choices, with 83 per cent of students now studying a STEM subject in their first year in college this year.

'Acute shortage of available talent'

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said: “Our recent survey of members has indicated that more than 6,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector this year. While this demand is very positive, engineering employers are facing an acute shortage of available talent to take up these employment opportunities. "The reality is that the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet employers’ future needs for graduates. “Through the Engineering Your Future Programme, we encourage Transition Year students to explore the limitless career opportunities a career in engineering offers through engagement with lecturers, engineering professionals and site visits to engineering organisations. "As a direct result of this positive engagement, more than 85 per cent of students who took part in the programme in 2018 said they were now more likely to consider engineering as a career choice, which will in turn positively assist the development our future talent pipeline.” Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for society with Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Transition Year can be a critical point in the education pathway to higher education.

Encourage students to increase knowledge and understanding of science and engineering'

"It is important that we encourage and inspire these students to increase their knowledge and understanding of science and engineering, so that they feel empowered to consider further study in these disciplines.” Now in its sixth year, the annual Engineers Ireland Transition Year initiative has grown from five programmes in 2013 to 17 programmes in 2019 and has engaged more than 1,700 students. A total of 17 programmes will take place across Ireland in 2019, with 11 programmes taking place in May at GMIT, IT Tallaght, IT Carlow, Maynooth University, Waterford IT, IT Tralee, TU Dublin (DIT), UCC, UCD, Cork IT and IT Sligo. A summer version of the programme will be held by NUI Galway in June. An industry version of the programme is also run by ESB at their head offices in Dublin, Limerick and Sligo. Engineering Your Future is supported by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme Call – and supported by industry leaders, Arup, ESB, Intel and TII. For more information on the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme, visit: ENDS