by Samuel Omiye (Uni Genius- Y12)

What do you picture when you hear “Government Department”? Well I pictured a cluster of grey 4-sided cubicles and people typing at desks to fix traffic jams. Well boy was I wrong.

My first point of contact was Martin Robinson (HR) who warmly welcomed me to DfT and briefly gave an overview of the advancements in technology that we quite often take for granted (Were it not for engineers you wouldn’t be reading this blog post with the convenience of your computer/mobile). My second host, David Franklin (Leader of Innovation Team) introduced us to the rest of the department and informed us of the great developments in transport awaiting us in the not too distant future, and what DfT was doing to stay ahead of the curve. Such novel forms of transport include: Hyperloop; Drones; Automated cars; and Flying vehicles. To be on the cusp of achieving what only existed in Sci-Fi movies, the future does look exciting doesn’t it? On Thursday I was treated to a “Futures Workshop” at the fancy high class Amba Hotel, where some staff members were being trained to identify emerging modes of transport and how they will affect the world.

At the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) I learned about the intriguing research on making energy cleaner. There are experts with various credentials and PhDs working on the development of wind farms, solar panels, and nuclear energy. I was awestruck to discover that the government had a goal of 0, yes 0 carbon emissions by 2050. This monolithic aim explained the atmosphere of urgency and focus that I experienced. Throughout the week I found that most individuals at DfT and BEIS were not driven by money or personal gain but rather the betterment of society as a whole.

Approximately 2 million engineers will be required by 2025 to satisfy growing demands, and unfortunately this is not likely to be met due to a lack of advertising and profession promotion. However, the government is trying to cure this with: “The Year of Engineering”. As of Jan 1st, 2018 has been dubbed as the year of engineering, in which the government (in alliance with private companies) holds educational workshops that encourage passionate children to pursue careers in STEM.

In conclusion, I was very grateful and privileged that Generating Genius organised a work placement at The Department for Transport and gain an insight into what the government have planned and the future they are carefully preparing us for. This experience has fuelled my desire to be an engineer, something that Mr Robinson said not only encouraged the generation ahead of me, but also the one behind me; seeing the flames of innovation pass down and cultivate drives them to continue inspiring.

Dear reader, you too can help solve this skills shortage by sharing this information with others and inspiring them to take up a STEM subject.