How to help children engineer their futures

Research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) shows more than half (54%) of parents feel they would struggle to guide their children to gain more experience in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields.

In good news for the future of engineering, new research shows nearly a quarter (24%) of parents say their children have expressed an interest in engineering as a future career.

However, the research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology shows almost a third (31%) of mums and dads feel they would struggle to describe what an engineer actually does – this is despite 95% of parents saying they know what an engineer is.

The survey, of over 2,000 parents of school-aged children, found that in contrast to engineering, parents felt very comfortable with describing what a doctor (94%), teacher (94%) and even a Reality TV Star (81%) does as a profession.

Understanding Engineering.

To help educate students and parents about the work of engineers, over 60 events are taking place across the UK aiming to offer further insight into how to progress into a career in engineering and technology. 

Partner organisations this year include The National Theatre, Amazon, Tower Bridge, TFL, Ofcom and Royal Mail, to name a few.

It is well documented that the UK faces a nationwide skills shortage. 203,000 people with engineering skills will be required each year to meet demand through to 2024, but it’s estimated that there will be an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineering and technicians to fill these roles[1].

By highlighting the important role that engineers play in everyday life, and the creativity and diversity of work in this sector, Engineering Open House Day connects directly with children to inspire and motivate them towards exploring careers in engineering and technology. It also equips and encourages parents to support their kids in nurturing their curiosity.

For more on the basics of engineering and apprenticeships, check out our Sector Spotlight below: