New Guide To Encourage Engineering As A Career
A new guide has been launched by EngineeringUK to help those working in the industry encourage more students and young people to look at engineering as a career choice, a top tips guide to help provide outreach activities in schools.
It suggests that making links between the skills used in subjects like maths, computing, science, design and technology, art, languages and geography can help students realise how valuable these subjects are for the future.
Head of careers at EngineeringUK Eleanor Eyre explained that engineering work can be seen in all conceivable areas, from disaster response and space exploration to medical technology and renewable energy.
“Recent research from EngineeringUK suggest the UK faces an engineering skills shortage, with 203,000 roles requiring engineering skills needed to be filled annually through to 2024 so it’s vital that we nurture engineers of the future and demonstrate that through a career in engineering they could change the course of history and have an impact on a global scale,” she went on to say.
The guide includes points to consider such as the motivating factors for making decisions about a career, including prestige, pay and being able to make a positive contribution to society. Showing young people that they already possess the skills that engineers use, such as problem-solving, logic, communication, teamwork, creativity and so on.
Demonstrating the many and varied reasons to go into engineering could also prove encouraging, including making a difference, being creative, enjoying good career prospects and earning good money.
Numerous groups are still under-represented in this particular sector, with figures showing that women make up just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce and just nine per cent of people in engineering occupations are of minority ethnic heritage.
Those looking to encourage more people into the sector could make a conscious effort to include more diverse examples and role models, although it was advised to try and avoid focusing on such issues to students who may not know that these issues exist – and this could deter them even further, seeing them as a barrier to entering the profession.
The resource was created in collaboration with the Tomorrow’s Engineers Careers Working Group, intended to help those managing outreach activities devise impactful talks and events.
Research carried out for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week shows that 90 per cent of young people are keen to have a career that deals with social issues, so including examples of how engineering professionals use their skills to prioritise the likes of renewable energy, tackling homelessness or developing new cures for diseases could be of particular interest.
Real-life case studies are included from international companies such as Atkins and Siemens. Atkins, for example, runs a work experience scheme for students in Year 8, put together with gender parity in mind and designed to help schools approve applications with a 50/50 gender split.
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