HC Deb 27 June 2000 vol 352 cc475-6W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the recent Engineering and Marine Training Authority report entitled "Working in Engineering", with special reference to opportunities in engineering for young people from ethnic minorities. [127721]

Mr. Wicks

I welcome the report by the Engineering Employers' Federation/Commission for Racial Equality. The recommendations stemming from the project provide a realistic opportunity for engineering companies to engage the ethnic minority communities in a more constructive way.

This will require greater commitment and positive action to build more effective links with schools and ethnic minority community centres. I believe a vital factor in encouraging young people from the ethnic minority community to be engineers is to provide role models from their own communities. The case studies which have been published should actively encourage entry into the industry.

My Department strongly supports the outcomes and follow-up initiatives from the project and will continue to work closely with all appropriate parties to ensure that the engineering sector, together with the construction and manufacturing sectors—for example—attract more young people from the ethnic minority community.

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