At an event in Aberdeen today, Shell set out how its major investment in the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme will help to address Scotland’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills shortage.

Every year, the UK faces a shortfall of over 81,000 people with engineering skills. Between 2010-2020 Scotland will need to recruit 160,000 people with engineering skills. To meet this demand Scotland needs to double the number of graduate and apprenticeship engineers.

Last November, the Perkins Review of Engineering Skills called for urgent and co-ordinated action from employers to address the country’s STEM skills-shortage. The Review recommended that the most effective way for industry to address the shortage was through Tomorrow’s Engineers, a school science and engineering careers programme run by EngineeringUK.

Shell is contributing over £1million to expand the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme throughout the UK. In 2014, Tomorrow’s Engineers reached 217 secondary schools across Scotland. Shell’s investment will give thousands more Scottish students, aged 11-14 year old, hands-on engineering experiences and help them explore the diverse range of opportunities that a technical career can provide.

Speaking today at the Aberdeen launch event with Jenny Marra MSP and Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, Erik Bonino, Chairman of Shell UK, said: “Scotland is famous across the globe as a pioneer of innovation, with world-changing breakthroughs from the likes of James Watt, Alexander Graham Bell and John Logie Baird. The North Sea is one example of an economic success that was only made possible through the innovation and ingenuity of scientists and engineers.

“But the on-going shortage of technical skills risks jeopardising the country’s success. We need to inspire the next generation of Scottish scientists and engineers, and this starts in the classroom. Shell’s investment will enable today’s students to unearth hidden talents and help them become the innovators of tomorrow.”

One of the most immediate ways to address the skills shortage is to change the way the industry approaches education outreach. Despite huge investment from the wider engineering industry, STEM activities are not efficiently delivered. Analysis by Boston Consulting Group shows that, simply by coordinating the same levels of investment efforts on a regional basis, it’s possible to triple the number of young people reached and inspired to pursue a technical career.

Mr Bonino called on Scotland’s wider engineering community to work together and pool resources to address the STEM skills shortage: “It is the responsibility of the entire engineering community to work together and help secure the scientists and engineers Scotland needs for a successful future. That is why I am calling on businesses across Scotland to support Tomorrow’s Engineers.”

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said :

“Tomorrow’s Engineers focuses on helping young people understand the variety, excitement and opportunity presented by a career in engineering, so that an equal number of girls and boys aspire to become an engineer and UK employers get the engineers they need. If we are to tackle the skills shortage head on we need to attract more women into the industry. Only 7% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female.

Research shows that girls who have participated in the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme are 50 per cent more likely to cite engineering as a desirable career choice. We want to build on this success.”

Other businesses, both large and small, who want to support STEM activities in schools, can get involved with Tomorrow’s Engineers in a number of ways :

  • By committing funding to enable Tomorrow’s Engineers to reach more students, in more schools across the UK.
  • By sharing information on the schools that they already work with, businesses can contribute to the national STEM outreach database maintained by Tomorrow’s Engineers. This can help businesses identify where their support is most needed.
  • By encouraging company volunteers, or ‘STEM Ambassadors’, who can be teamed up with local schools through the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme.

Using the Tomorrow’s Engineers toolkit helps businesses to set up school activities and workshops efficiently. The toolkit includes inspirational resources about engineering careers, providing schools with an even richer experience.

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Notes to Editors :

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this announcement "Shell", "Shell Group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them.

These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. "Subsidiaries", "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" as used in this announcement refer to companies in which Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence.

The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as "associated companies" or "associates" and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as "jointly controlled entities". In this announcement, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as "equity-accounted investments". The term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This announcement contains forward looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell and the Shell Group. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements.

Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell and the Shell Group to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "goals", "intend", "may", "objectives", "outlook", "plan", "probably", "project", "risks", "seek", "should", "target", "will" and similar terms and phrases.

There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and the Shell Group and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements included in this announcement, including (without limitation):

(a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell's products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions;

(i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions.

All forward looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Shell's 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2013 (available at www.shell.com/investor- opens on Shell.com and www.sec.gov  ). These factors also should be considered by the reader. 

Each forward looking statement speaks only as of the date of this announcement, November 18, 2014. Neither Shell nor any of its subsidiaries nor the Shell Group undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward looking statements contained in this announcement.

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