Run by multinational research and consulting firm Ipsos, the Veracity Index has asked members of the British public how much they trust different professions 25-times since launching in 1983.
Engineering rose by three percentage points in 2022, with 87% of respondents saying they would ‘generally trust’ engineers to tell the truth – second only to nurses (89%) and just above doctors (85%).
In related fields, trust in scientists stayed the same (83%), while trust in trade union officials rose to 48% – an increase of four percentage points on 2021. Trust in the profession has risen by 30 percentage points since 1983.
The five least trusted professions were politicians, advertising executives, government ministers, estate agents and journalists. Politicians and ministers, as well as estate agents, have seen a decrease in their level of public trust since 2021.
“This year we have seen public trust drop gently across a wide range of professions,” said Mike Clemence, researcher at Ipsos Trends & Foresight. “The biggest drop is in trust in politicians, which has fallen to levels last seen during the expenses crisis.
“However, we have also seen small but noticeable falls for high-trust professions including doctors, nurses, teachers and curators, as well as trust in the average person in the street. This makes the professions where we have seen an increase in trust this year – TV newsreaders, trade union officials and engineers – all the more noteworthy.
“There are also some new entrants in Britain’s list of trusted professions. Three-quarters trust waiters and waitresses to tell the truth, making them among the ten most trusted professions in the country. We also see two-thirds trust taxi drivers and a little over half trust car mechanics to tell the truth.”
The Institution of Engineering and Technology worked with Ipsos on the poll. President Professor Bob Cryan CBE said: “Engineers play a central role in everyday life, contributing to advancing the world around us and finding solutions to global challenges such as climate change. It’s fantastic to see that nearly nine in 10 people trust engineers – this demonstrates the huge level of professionalism and importance of engineers in the UK.
“The last couple of years have highlighted more than ever the vital role engineers play in developing technology and rapid processes, to keep our infrastructure and economy running.
“This recognition of trust by the public is a welcome boost to all those in industry, academia and our communities working together to address the shortfalls in engineer numbers faced across the UK, by encouraging the next generation of talent as engineering continues to be a vital profession across the world.”
Ipsos interviewed more than 1,000 British adults. Data was weighted to match the profile of the population.
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