We’re always working to excite future engineers about the railway.

Our new Awesome Railways resources for schools will teach more young people about careers on the network.

The Awesome Railways leaflet and animation tells children why railways are vital to Britain and why science, technology and maths (STEM) are so important to their development.

We think trains and railways are awesome, and that’s why we need girls and boys at school today to learn about science, maths and technology – so that you can help us to invent and design the railways of the future.

Skills gap

At Network Rail, we invite our employees to get involved with early engagement activities by becoming STEM ambassadors. These ambassadors support young people in developing their careers to help close the national skills gap in STEM subjects and predicted shortfall of engineers and technically skilled people in the transport sector.

The UK requires 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills across the economy each year up to 2024, according to a report, Engineering UK: The state of engineering. There is an additional requirement for 79,000 related roles, requiring a mixed application of engineering knowledge and skill alongside other skill sets.

However, the report anticipates a shortfall of between 37,000 and 59,000 due to the supply of talent coming through education.

Year of Engineering

Last year was the Year of Engineering – a UK government-backed initiative to encourage young people to take up STEM subjects.

Network Rail took part throughout the year. Here’s how:

A new college: In March, a university technical college – co-funded by Network Rail – formally opened. Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College aims to get young Londoners into work through training and education.

The college welcomed its first cohort of students in September 2017 and works closely with organisations such as property company Landsec (formerly Land Securities), fleet operator BT Fleet Solutions and Transport for London to provide pupils with education and vocational skills and training.

Emily the engineer: In August, Network Rail and industry partners created an activity book, which we gave to families travelling on the railway during the summer. The book is full of puzzles and quizzes and follows the character of Emily the engineer on her rail adventures – seeking to spark children's imaginations and inspire them to consider a career in engineering.

Meanwhile, in October, we teamed-up with British Transport Police (BTP) and Thomas the Tank Engine to help children learn how to use the railway safely.

A team of Network Rail employees visited almost 600 students across the week to deliver interactive sessions, including presentations on Network Rail careers.

Tomorrow's engineers: In November, Network Rail graduates and year in industry students from our Safety, Technical and Engineering (STE) division marked Tomorrow's Engineers Week by hosting a series of STEM challenges.

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