Promote engineering in schools, says new report

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT “NO TALENT IS WASTED”, SAYS ENGINEERINGUK.

Every 11-to-14 year-old child should have at least one engineering experience, either via a workplace visit or through a company coming into their school, as part of a drive to encourage them to take an interest in the sector, argues a new report.

In the document The State of Engineering, EngineeringUK, the independent body which promotes the sector across society, said the provision of high quality, engineering engagement and careers inspiration should be part of this age group’s educational experience.

“It is imperative that no talent is wasted,” the report said. “Governments in each of the devolved nations need to ensure [there are] joined-up education policies that deliver easy-to-follow academic and vocational pathways for our young people within schools and colleges.

“This will ensure maximum throughput in Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and into engineering careers.”

The report said focussed action towards the co-ordination, quality, reach and impact of engineering engagement interventions by all parties, and supported by government, was essential.

“BUILDING AND CONSOLIDATING OF EXISTING PROGRAMMES IS NECESSARY TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE THE PERCEPTIONS AND SUBJECT CHOICES OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND GET MORE OF THEM INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN ENGINEERING,” IT WENT ON.

Evidence suggested such a goal was best achieved by “ensuring co-ordinated support and partnerships via local, regional and national Stem employers”.

The report said school visits to engineering facilities were popular ways to highlight the potential of a career for young people, while more had to be done to widen diversity in engineering, notably to encourage more young females into the sector.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK.

“This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to train many more engineering if we are not to be left behind by countries like South Korea and Germany.”

And Minister of State for Skills Nick Boles, added: “These shortages are compounded by insufficient numbers of young people, especially girls, choosing a career in engineering.

“I am convinced we will only overcome these challenges if all those with an interest in UK engineering commit to greater collaboration and partnership.”

EngineeringUK’s report also called for:

A doubling of the number of young people studying GCSE physics as part of triple sciences
A two-fold increase in the number of Advanced Apprenticeship achievements
A doubling of the number of engineering and technology and other related Stem and non-Stem graduates who are known to enter engineering occupations
Provision of careers inspiration for all 11-14 year olds
Support for teachers and careers advisors delivering careers information.

Source: PRC

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