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A third of young people are attracted by engineering

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Nearly a third of young people would consider a future career in engineering, according to new research by social enterprise MyKindaCrowd.

The findings also reveal that while young people are interested in working in engineering, there is a lack of knowledge about the vocation with nearly a third associating it with ‘physical work and labouring’. The survey of 12-25 year olds also found that 87 per cent of young people associate engineering with car manufacturing.

The findings were announced at a high profile event in Westminster supported by Nestlé which discussed how industry can best encourage young people into engineering. The survey also found that business has an important role to play, with two thirds of young people saying they would benefit from hands on experience by being taught engineering in the workplace as well as the classroom.

A separate survey carried out among teachers found that over half believe their students would be interested in a career in engineering. A total of 93% of teachers also want a closer involvement of business to help them build practical skills and knowledge for their students.

Initiatives discussed at the Westminster event included how industry can step up and help young people bridge the gap between education and employment, the increasing need for apprenticeships, and how developing a larger number of females in STEM subjects is essential to companies and the UK.

The main research findings were:

  • Nearly a third (32%) would consider a career in engineering.
  • Over a third (34%) associate engineering with physical work including labouring.
  • Two thirds of young people believe engineering should be taught with a mix of time spent in the classroom and the work place.
  • 87% of young people surveyed associated car manufacturing with engineering.
  • 93% of teachers want a closer involvement of business to help them build practical skills and knowledge for their students.
  • 74% of teachers believe they don’t get enough support from government and business when new curriculums are introduced.

Speaking at the event, Nestlé’s CEO and Chairman Fiona Kendrick said:

“I am pleased that young people see a career in engineering as a viable option for them and I call on the industry to step up and help them bridge the gap between education and employment. As employers we value young people with experience, so we have to provide young people with enough opportunities to gain it. This will help in developing the next generation of skilled employees for the future.”