Institution of Fire Engineers launches new Early Careers Networking Group

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New initiative to support young professionals

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has announced the launch of its Early Careers Networking Group (ECNG).

This new initiative aims to support budding talent in the field of fire engineering by offering young professionals and students insight into the wide range of vocations within the sector.

The group, hosted on LinkedIn, seeks to foster a supportive community where early-career individuals can thrive and explore fire engineering pathways.

The launch follows the publication of The Science Education Tracker 2023 by Engineering UK, highlighting concerns about the future workforce in STEM fields.

Addressing STEM workforce concerns

The Science Education Tracker 2023 survey, conducted by Engineering UK, raised significant concerns about the future STEM workforce.

The survey of over 7,000 young people in England revealed a pronounced gender gap and other challenges.

Only 12% of girls feel that being an engineer fits well with their identity, and just 16% believe an engineering career is suitable for them.

Furthermore, the survey noted the importance of practical science opportunities, particularly for less engaged students, with only 26% of GCSE students participating in practical work at least every fortnight.

Interest in science has declined, with 36% of girls stating that science is not for them. The ECNG aims to address these key factors.

Creating a supportive community for fire engineers

Dean Morris, chair of the ECNG, stated: “I think everyone looks back on their life with hindsight and thought about what they would do if they had their time over again.

“This group will offer a platform to share these experiences and offer advice to anyone that is new to the industry or who is thinking of joining.”

He added: “I really hope that it provides a safe space where people can ask questions but also network and meet like-minded people.

“Everyone is at different levels in their career and experience and had to start from somewhere, so creating a safe space is important for development and ensuring competency in the industry.”

International collaboration and mentorship

Steve Hamm, CEO of the IFE, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome the Early Careers Networking Group to the IFE’s portfolio of groups.

“Its output will address integral issues across the fire sector, ultimately benefitting our membership, further stakeholders, and shaping the future workforce.”

He continued: “Young people from around the globe will now have a space to collaborate and seek advice on an international scale; I believe it will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of fire engineering for budding talent.

“By offering a space to explore career options, we aim to bridge the gender gap and ignite a passion for fire engineering in young people within the UK and overseas.”

The IFE said it is committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of fire engineers, ensuring they have the resources and guidance needed to succeed in their careers.

To join the Early Careers Networking Group, visit ECNG on LinkedIn.

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