A survey by Bosch UK has found that the majority of secondary school students in the UK are missing out on a career in engineering by not being taught enough about it in the classroom.
The research, carried out amongst 1,000 13-16 years olds showed that 45% said they didn’t know what an engineer did and nearly a third believed it involved very manual and dirty work. 29% of those questioned said they thought it was ‘boring’.
As a result of this lack of awareness only a third said they would consider a career in engineering, with roles in medicine, banking, sports and entertainment more appealing.
Peter Fouquet, President of Bosch UK, said: “Engineering is a key sector in the UK. Unfortunately there are not enough young people opting for this career which will lead to a major shortfall. The future of the country depends on a new generation of skilled engineers entering the industry.
“Alarmingly, our research found that 68% of students felt they weren’t taught enough about engineering at school, which means we have a large group of people who are not given the opportunity to explore this highly rewarding and diverse career path.”
To address these misconceptions, Bosch is launching a programme of fun and interactive school roadshows to raise awareness of what engineering is and how it impacts our daily lives. The show includes live demonstrations to illustrate how various technologies work and highlight the exciting developments made in the field in recent years. The show will include a number of interactive demonstrations of how different technological products work. One example is a leaf blower-powered hovercraft which helps to illustrate the considerable amount of power that can be generated by a cordless battery, making it both efficient and sustainable.
Peter continued: “We want to show students that everything they do has been impacted by engineering and that engineers get to be involved not only in a lot of really incredible stuff but also make and design things which are critical to our society.
“That is why, as a country, we must make it our top priority to get young people excited about the prospects that a future in this sector has. And I believe that the best way to do this is by making engineering more fun and relevant.”
CBI responds to deputy PM’s speech on opportunities for young people
The CBI today responded to a speech from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, which proposed a UCAS-style system for young people who don’t want to go to university and other measures that will boost opportunities for school leavers.
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills policy, said:
“The CBI has long called for a UCAS-style system for vocational qualifications. This is a major step forward in making vocational routes more visible and will help put it on a level footing with more traditional academic routes.
“Supporting 16 and 17 year olds through Jobcentre Plus to break into the world of work is overdue. With too many young people still unemployed Jobcentres will need to hit the ground running and tailor help to meet the needs of the local economy.
“The Government is right to focus on improving careers advice as it remains on life support. Schools cannot do it alone and employers have a key role to play in inspiring young people and preparing them for the workplace.”