The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) welcomes the endorsement from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for our Talent 2030 campaign which has set out a target to double the proportion of women engineers by 2030. In their announcement today, the NCUB target to increase the proportion of women engineers at university from 16% to 30% was cited as a key factor behind the announcement of the new funding.

BIS will invest £400 million which is aimed at improving the supply of women studying and working in engineering and science, in line with our campaign objectives.

To help increase the pipeline of girls from schools into engineering and physics at university, the Talent 2030 campaign has also launched the National Engineering Competition for Girls. The aim of the competition is to inspire more girls to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing. At present just under 10% of the UK’s professional engineers are women, the lowest in Europe.

The competition, supported by Rolls-Royce and EADS, asks  girls aged 11-14 and 15-18 from across the United Kingdom to submit their ideas for ‘How can engineers solve the challenges of the 21st century?’ and offers £2000 worth of prizes, which will be awarded at the Big Bang Fair in March 2014.

Submissions for the competition are sent in online via the Talent 2030 website:

Commenting on the announcement, Dr David Docherty, Chief Executive of NCUB said:

“Inspiring the next generation of young female engineers is vital to ensure we have a more diverse engineering workforce. The funding announcement today from BIS will help advance the UK’s ability to engage and retain women in science and engineering, and will advance NCUB’s aim to double the proportion of women studying engineering at university by 2030.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“Investing in national infrastructure is a key part of this Government’s economic strategy.This new funding will provide world class, industry standard facilities and teaching for students. These facilities will also help bridge the gender gap that exists and give more incentives for women to retrain as engineers and put their skills to great use.

“We will also reverse the rules which stop people from getting financial support to retrain in engineering and technology part time. This will ensure the nation has the skills we need to ensure our businesses stay ahead in the global race.

“So we are inviting all who care about the future of science and engineering in our country to join us by signing up to this national ambition to increase the number of women entering science and engineering.”


[1] ‘£400 million will help science and engineering students get ahead in the global race and encourage more women to study these subjects’, BIS: