Boeing UK president puts focus on STEM skill shortages

Sir Michael Arthur will be speaking about encouraging STEM education at STEMtech, 29 April.
Sir Michael Arthur will be speaking at STEMtech, the UK's largest conference for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, taking place in London on 29 April.

Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing UK and Ireland, will speak to teachers, policy makers and employers to discuss the predicted technical skills shortage in the UK and what is needed to boost the engineering talent pipeline.

Tina Lucas is organiser of the conference, which focuses on the future of STEM education and the critical challenge of closing the skills gap. She says: "We are bringing together some of the best examples of Industry and education working together to tackle the skills gap and we hope that this will inspire others to do the same. We are delighted that Sir Michael is able to join us from Boeing." Other speakers include representatives from Siemens, IBM, OCR and National Grid.

One of the education initiatives that the world's largest aerospace company is involved with is the 'Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge.' Created by Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society, the challenge aims to inspire UK secondary school pupils to continue with STEM subjects beyond school. It provides the opportunity to build a real two-seater light aircraft from a kit and hands-on experience of the aircraft design and build process. With support from volunteers from RAeS and the Light Aircraft Association, it gives young people an understanding of the scientific and engineering principles behind flight, as well as an opportunity to develop useful commercial skills such as project management, problem-solving, team work, marketing and communications. The ultimate aim is taking a flight in the aircraft once it is complete.

"Boeing in the UK is proud of its strong record in encouraging young people to study STEM subjects and we are looking forward to showcasing our innovative Schools Build-a-Plane Challenge at the STEMtech conference," says Sir Michael.

Caroline Hayes

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