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A third of young people would consider careers in engineering

A study of young people aged 12 to 25 suggests almost one third (32%) see engineering as a potential career. Despite this, many remain confused about the exact nature of the profession.

The research was carried out by social enterprise MyKindaCrowd and discussed at Engineering – Industry, Education and Government, an event held in Westminster yesterday.

One area for discussion was the continuing confusion over what a career in engineering actually entails. Over a third of respondents (34%) associated engineering with physical labour, and 87% saw the car industry as the main reference point for the industry.

The research also explored the links between schools and industry, along with the support both would like from the Government. It found 93% of teachers want closer links with industries to help their students learn practical skills and knowledge. Three-quarters of teachers (74%) want more support from the Government around changes to the science curriculum.

Young people themselves want a more vocational approach to learning engineering skills, with one third preferring a mix of classroom and practical teaching in the subject.

Speaking at the event, Andrew Jones MP, apprenticeship ambassador in Parliament, welcomed young people’s enthusiasm for the industry.

“Engineering is a key skill for our future prosperity,” he said. “That is why it is important that young people have all the facts at their fingertips so that they can make an informed decision about a career in engineering.”

William Akerman, managing director of MyKindaCrowd, said: “It is clear the industry needs to work hard to encourage these young engineers of the future to address the current skills shortage.

“Greater collaboration between business and education is vital to the success of engineering being taught in secondary education, and by forging links with schools and teachers, UK businesses can take proactive steps to create the future workforce that they need.”