Young people are rejecting engineering as a career choice because they don’t know enough about the profession.
The research shows only half of 11 to 14-year-olds would consider a career in engineering and less than one in ten (7 per cent) plan to be engineers once they finish their education.
The survey found that 44 per cent of those that would not consider a career in engineering blame not knowing anything about the industry, while negative perceptions of engineering as boring and uncreative (17 per cent), oily, smelly and dirty (15 per cent) and factory-based (14 per cent) were also top blame.
Girls in particular are not attracted to engineering as a career option, with 65 per cent saying they would not consider a career in engineering, a quarter (24 per cent) of which do not think that engineering is a suitable or attractive career for women.
Parents of daughters hold similar views – three quarters (76 per cent) of parents with girls haven’t encouraged their daughters to consider engineering as a career option.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, along with over 70 other partners, has designed Tomorrow’s Engineers Week to challenge outdated perceptions of engineering by putting on a week of activities and that showcases the range of careers and roles available as an engineer.
Commenting on the findings of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Week research, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said: “We want young people to have a strong interest in engineering-related subjects and activities, but this interest alone is not enough to inspire them to consider a career in engineering.
“There is a lack of knowledge about the breadth, depth, range and quality of career opportunities in engineering and government, employers, professional bodies and educators must join forces to inspire the next generation of talent. We must also improve our efforts to show girls and their parents that engineering is a great career choice for women.
Tomorrow’s Engineers Week has started today to coincide with the publication of The Perkins Review of Engineering Skills.
For more information visit the Tomorrow's Engineers Week website.