Engineering futures at McLaren Technology Centre, Woking

A group of head teachers were given a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking

A group of head teachers were given a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

The tour was organised as part of the government’s See Inside Manufacturing campaign, which aims to encourage young people to look at engineering as an exciting and viable career choice.

“We’ve seen a worrying decline in our industrial base over the past two decades and this alarming trend must be reversed if we’re to create a more stable and prosperous future for our country,” says the executive chairman of McLaren, Ron Dennis.

“Changing the perception of manufacturing and engineering amongst students represents a critical first step in this process.”

As greater emphasis is now being placed on rebuilding the UK’s manufacturing base, engineering and technical skills are essential, but the country potentially faces an acute skills shortage – as evidenced in a survey by the Engineering and Technology Board, which found that 49 per cent of seven to 11-year-olds thought it would be ‘boring’ to be an engineer.

“In a time of great uncertainty for young people, the image and ethos that McLaren portrays is the kind of motivational benchmark that all of us should aspire to,” says Stuart Shephard, head teacher at Bishop David Brown School in Woking, who was part of the visiting group.

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The next stage is a fortnight of open days in October, where students across the country will visit automotive manufacturing facilities.

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