Apple is holding special coding workshops in its stores in support of the Government’s Year of Engineering scheme to encourage more young people to take up engineering.
The technology firm has created a range of Field Trips – special versions of its Today at Apple in-store sessions tailored for schoolchildren – which show students the potential of a career in the profession.
Sessions are being held at 38 Apple stores across the UK throughout November and will reach more than 1,700 students.
The Government’s Year of Engineering scheme aims to give young people direct experience of engineering and its wide range of careers, as well as increase the diversity of people entering the field.
Minister for the Year of Engineering Nusrat Ghani said: “Engineering careers are exciting, creative and shape the world around us.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be joining forces with Apple in this Year of Engineering to show young people from all backgrounds what they could achieve.
“This is a real golden ticket opportunity for schoolchildren across the UK to go behind the scenes at the biggest tech company in the world, and I’m sure it will help inspire the next generation of engineers to play their part in the innovations of the future.”
Government statistics suggest only 12% of the engineering workforce is female, and only 8% is from a black, Asian, or ethnic minority background.
It says the industry faces an annual shortage of 20,000 engineering graduates.
Ms Ghani said a key part of the scheme was to show a wider range of young people the potential of a career in the field.
“We have got a shortfall of engineers, there’s no denying that, and the majority of engineers tend to be male and tend to be of a white heritage,” she said.
“So we’ve got to reach out to women and we’ve got to reach out to people from BAME backgrounds, and by having a diverse intake you’ve got more people to choose from when you’re trying to hire, but also you’re going to have people with different experiences who are going to come to this in a different, creative capacity, and that’s what we want to do.”
The sessions for students include tasks such as coding and programming robots, as well as designing new forms of transport to combat congestion.
Apple has previously sent engineers from its UK Silicon Design Centre to meet schoolchildren to share their experiences of working in the profession.