Education theme policies and campaigns
Inspiring, preparing and supporting tomorrow’s engineers is vital if we are to respond to society’s challenges. Raising the profile of engineering and engineering careers will encourage young people to consider entering the profession at graduate and technician level.
All young people need a good grounding in engineering to face an increasingly technological future with confidence.
To address the growing skills gap and allow engineering in the UK to flourish, we need to:
- Encourage young people from diverse backgrounds into the profession
- Provide an environment and culture where engineers thrive and are valued
- Ensure engineers have stimulating, exciting and supported careers
- Accept the opportunities and benefits of flexible career paths
While we have been effective in encouraging those who are already interested in STEM subjects into engineering through informal learning such as outreach programmes, we have not been so good at attracting those whose interests lie elsewhere. Yet industry is keen to have a workforce with a wide range of skills and talents – the future innovators and entrepreneurs come from many backgrounds. We want to maintain the rigour and technical expertise associated with engineering, but we also wish to put people at the heart of engineering education.
The overall number of young people going into engineering at graduate and technician level has not changed over the last 30 years. If we are to see a step change we need to bring around cultural change in attitudes to engineering and structural change in the education system.
We are proposing changes to the way in which education, and specifically engineering education, is taught.
We want to see:
- Delayed specialisation to keep options of technical careers open for as long as possible
- Greater understanding how young people learn and develop their attitudes to engineering, and find out which interventions work best
- Careers education based on real knowledge of the engineering workplace
- Schools encourage a greater range of routes into careers, such as apprenticeships, and to not be judged solely on university places gained
As one of the world’s fastest growing engineering institutions we are respected thought leaders and a valued voice in the engineering education debate, and we seek to influence the national education agenda.
By shaping the way the UK public sees engineering we will have a higher level of engineering literacy, which will in turn encourage more young people into engineering and increase the pool of talent for recruiters.
We are in the unique position of being able to influence the image of an industry that really matters. We truly believe we can improve the world through engineering, and want the UK public to share our vision and be part of it.