The overall perception of engineering must be made more attractive; colleges and universities must focus on preparing students to meet the demands of the workplace and accommodate society because without a strong engineering sector the future of the UK looks bleak.
‘Does the term “engineer” need to be rebranded to sweep away the perception of engineering?’
To appeal to a wider audience (particularly female students) the language of engineering could sound better, for example, instead of using the word ‘build’, design or create could be used to boost interest. The industry needs a new form of words, spokespeople and visible champions who can influence young people who will eventually fill engineering jobs. Concentrated effort must be geared towards getting children and teenagers interested in engineering careers to ensure a strong pipeline of talent otherwise there is going to be a negative effect on productivity.
‘Communicating the culture of engineering to young people’
The recruitment of engineering need not just be about “self-interest in engineering” but advertisements such as:
- “Do you want a well paid job?”
- “Do you want to tackle and solve problems?”
- “You can develop into the person you want to be, travel and constantly learn.”
- “Open your eyes to engineering jobs - your country needs you.”
- “Engineering is a career that is varied, rewarded, creative and exciting.”
The problem with engineering and young people is that there is a perceived lack of ‘glamour and excitement’ this needs to change - how about a TV series about engineers? Only 16% of young people have some knowledge of what engineers do. The “LA Law” American TV series had a huge influence on young people wanting to study law, and law colleges (both in UK and USA) were full and plentiful of law graduates. If you have any thoughts or comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.