Through speaking to local businesses of all sizes, I am very aware of the fears about the lack of a suitably skilled workforce. Frankly, the lack of skills, particularly in engineering, threatens the future of the UK economy.

During the second half of the 20th century, there was a steady decline in the importance of manufacturing and the economy of the United Kingdom shifted toward the service sector. This cannot continue.

The Wiltshire Festival of Engineering aims to help build a stronger manufacturing and engineering economy to serve the local community. I hope that by enthusing young people from an early age, we will inspire them to develop an interest in science, manufacturing and engineering so that they might consider it as an exciting, rewarding career. The Festival of Engineering is not a silver bullet, but I hope that it can grow to become a valuable resource for career education and inspiration in the region.

Festival of Engineering Logo black

Aimed at local school pupils in Years 6, 7, 8 and 9, the Festival took take place on Wednesday 28th September 2016 at Chippenham’s Olympiad Leisure Centre. We had over one-thousand local young people attending and I hope they were inspired by some of the fantastic businesses that we have locally.

The Festival was also open between 3.30pm-5pm for students where their school didn’t get the chance to visit and also other young people with an enthusiasm for engineering.