Parents who understand engineering double their child’s interest in engineering careers

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Based on responses from over 4,000 young people and their parents, the latest Engineering Brand Monitor (EBM) from our supporters, EngineeringUK found that young people’s perceptions of engineering are heavily dependent on their parents’ opinion and knowledge of the sector.

Unsurprisingly, around nine in 10 young people whose parents said they were confident in giving their child advice about careers in engineering said they were interested in a career in engineering, while 78% of young people who regularly do STEM activities with their parents said they were interested in a career in engineering.

The findings of the report flagged that gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity and region all influence children’s knowledge of what engineers do and how to become one. Only 48% of girls said they know what engineers do, compared to 61% of boys, while young people from lower income families are less likely to be interested in engineering, with only 43% of young people from a lower income and level of education reporting interest, compared to 65% of young people from a higher income and level of education family. Which area of the country children lived in also seemed to indicate significant differences in knowledge of the sector.

“As the world emerges from the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for engineering talent is intensifying,” said Dr Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK. “Ambitions to ‘level up’ the country and make the UK a science superpower and an innovation nation will be hugely dependent on our engineering and tech workforce, as will achieving ‘net zero’ by 2050. Our research continues to highlight the need for more to be done to ensure engineering is, and is seen as, an inclusive career for all. Showing parents and young people… the breadth of exciting engineering careers available will be paramount if we want to encourage more young people from all backgrounds to join the engineering workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The points raised from the report only make us more certain that Bring It On is absolutely necessary to inspire, encourage and enable young people to follow a career path into engineering. The influence of the event could help to positively adjust these numbers in the near future.

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