An Education Portal for use in the classroom has been launched by Siemens. This will allow teachers, students and parents to access a central hub of information to encourage young people to engage with engineering and manufacturing related subjects. The education and careers scheme was launched in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, Department of Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Initially the portal will support the 11 to 14 age group, with plans to expand the age range over the next two years. It will be rolled out to 5,000 schools across the UK by 2014, aiming to reach over 1.95 million pupils within the first year and 4.5 million by 2016. 

The aim of the portal is to inspire students, support teachers and communicate to parents the considerable opportunities open to young people working in today’s industry and manufacturing environments.

The scheme will host interactive education materials supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects – from highly interactive schemes of work for practical application in the classroom, to 3D games based on some of the most ground breaking industrial projects and technologies in the UK. The content will connect teachers and young people through a range of curriculum based schemes of work and interactive teaching methods.  

 All the materials draw upon the technical expertise of Siemens as well as experienced curriculum developers, and can be enhanced by inviting a Siemens employee into a school to provide the benefit of their own experiences and expertise in the subject matter. The content will draw from the Siemens Energy, Infrastructure and Cities, Healthcare and Industrial Sectors.

 The schemes of work include exploring the challenges facing product designers when designing vehicles for an urban environment, developing sustainable water supplies and creating sustainable energy supplies for modern cities using wind farms.

 Juergen Maier, Siemens Industry managing director, said: “It remains vital that we all play our role in developing talent for the future to replace the ageing workforce in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

The only way to change the perceptions of engineering and manufacturing is to target children as young as nine – and really explain how exciting working in this field is.

“If we are to rebalance the economy we need to be developing the skills now to fill the jobs of the future. We know that sustained public and private investment in this area is essential if we are to win the global skills race and create sustainable growth.”

Matthew Hancock, minister for skills, said: “Engineers have highly adaptive skills which are valuable across our whole economy and our future competitiveness in the global race will depend on attracting the brightest and best talent into this rewarding career.”

Siemens has already invested in the up-skilling of young people interested in engineering and manufacturing through the sponsorship of a number of University Technical Colleges across the UK. The business also took on over 160 apprentices in 2012.