More female engineers are needed, Crossrail says

Women engineers on Crossrail Image copyright Crossrail
Image caption Crossrail is a £14.8bn project which will link west to east London

The gender gap in engineering urgently needs to be addressed as the industry is struggling to attract female engineers, according to Crossrail.

It said just 8.5% of engineer in the UK were women - the lowest representation of any European country.

The group said the UK needed to double the number of annual university engineering graduates to 90,000 to meet the demand of one million jobs by 2020.

Future projects which need engineers include HS2 and the Thames Tideway.

Crossrail said it had worked with 100 schools, reaching more than 10,000 students in the past year, to try and address the issue and attract more young people to engineering.

More than 70 students aged 16-19 took part in the group's Engineer Your Future challenge, where emerging themes included perceptions that engineering was a "man's job".

Meanwhile, Transport for London and London Transport Museum will play host to 400 pupils at the museum's Acton depot this week for an Inspire Engineering Week to promote engineering as a career option.

Crossrail is a £14.8bn rail scheme connecting Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

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