12th February 2019
Engineering Our Future
With demand for engineering skills increasing and a changing political and economic landscape, it is essential that we encourage young people to study STEM subjects and pursue engineering-related qualifications.
A recent study released in 2018 by Engineering UK found that the amount of young people aged 11 to 19 who would consider a career in engineering has increased from 40% five years ago to 51%. Something that at first glance seems to show a healthy interest in an industry sector that needs it. However, the study also found that the older the students get, the less likely they are to consider a career in engineering: 39% of 16 to 19 year olds would consider engineering, compared with over 59% of 11 to 14 year olds. This confirms that supporting young people’s interest as they move on to secondary education is a key task for government and those with the power to change in education.
Evidence also points to the fact that work needs to be done in informing young people, especially girls, about what a career in engineering can be. At every age group across the board, boys are increasingly likely to consider a career in engineering ahead of girls. The report also suggests that students across all ages are less likely to understand what careers in engineering are when compared with their knowledge of the same information for technology or science.
So what can we do?
Increasing student’s awareness of the Engineering sector should be the starting point. If more students knew and indeed understood what engineering was, but more importantly what it could mean for them, then an increase in student’s choosing STEM subjects would surely happen as a consequence. Work Experience and Careers & Enterprise activities can be the springboard for this progression.
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