Education for Engineering (E4E), a group made up of 39 UK engineering bodies, has issued a policy statement providing recommendations to Government on the industry’s careers system.
The group has welcomed the proposal by the John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, for the formation of an all-age (13yrs+) independent careers service – (announced November 2010).
However, the Government’s Education Bill removes the duty on schools to provide general careers education for young people. E4E believes this could reduce the number of students being aware of the opportunities engineering provides as a potential career.
To clarify its stance E4E’s policy statement has made five recommendations to Government for improving the way careers education, advice and guidance is delivered and provided in schools and colleges:
- A statutory entitlement for young people in England to receive lessons in careers education as part of Personal, Social and Health Education
- The need to demonstrate competence in the teaching of careers education as part of the professional standards for qualified teacher status
- The use of real-life science and engineering examples in lessons with careers awareness embedded in the curriculum
- Improved access to local and national labour market information for schools and colleges and closer links with local employers
- Specialist science, engineering and technology advisors in careers advisory agencies - echoing the recommendations of the careers profession taskforce
Dick Olver FREng, Chairman of BAE Systems and Chair of E4E said: “Young people often do not make the connection between the mobile phones they use or the computer game consoles they play on a daily basis and the engineers who created them.
“We need to better inform our children and young adults about the value of engineering and the exciting career opportunities an engineering background can afford. Better careers education in schools and an improved professional independent careers service, that advises young people of the many routes into engineering will improve this situation.
“We must make sure that young people are fully informed about the exciting opportunities afforded by a career in engineering so that we will be able to meet the growing needs of our industries as we continue to re-balance the economy.”