A parent’s guide to a career in engineering

Many engineering companies are struggling to attract young people into a career in engineering. As such, there’s a real shortage of young people in the sector. If we don’t start taking this more seriously, a future skills shortage in this sector could affect our economy massively.

It’s no surprise that engineering graduates are now in demand. But not enough students are considering a career in engineering and they’re losing out on the rewards and opportunities on offer in this sector. At the same time, not many parents know of the excellent opportunities that are out there.

Did you know that engineering enterprises employ over 20% of the UK work force?

And that engineering employers are projected to need 1.82 million people with engineering skills from now until 2022?

The advantages of a career in engineering

  • Opportunities are continuously growing. As modern world technology advances, so does a career in engineering. A career in engineering can open many doors as these skills are crucial in today’s world – and will only become more vital with the advance of new technologies
  • Engineering is not a boring career or irrelevant to the real world – a career in engineering can make a positive difference to the world! Engineering is behind everything – from smartphones and trainers to the car you travel in and the food you eat
  • Careers in engineering can be well paid and very rewarding. Average wages in the engineering sector are well above the UK average. There’s also lots of exciting opportunities to grow personally and develop your skills

Types of engineering careers

There are thousands of unfilled positions at various levels in engineering and skilled people are always in demand and never out of work in this sector. And it’s not just welders and engineers that are required.

There are also a lot of opportunities for business sales executives, technicians, design engineers, project managers and commercial roles such as finance and marketing.

How to get into engineering

There are many ways to get into the world of engineering. And you don’t always need qualifications to apply. Generally, you will need a pass in GCSE Maths, English and Science, but many employers don’t require these grades. Some businesses will offer on the job training and mentoring or apprenticeships for school leavers.

Your school or college Careers Adviser should be able to help you if you if you need some more advice, or you can give our office a call on 0113 320 1130 for recruitment tips.

Helping your child to get a career in engineering

There are many skills which are good to cultivate if your child is considering a career in engineering – ones that will stand them in good stead for a job in this sector. These are:

  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Invention
  • Self-reliance
  • Logical thinking

What next?

If all of this sounds interesting to you as a parent, it’s your job to encourage your child to consider a career in engineering. You could start off by visiting museums or reading articles on this sector so that they can see what it’s all about.

Another idea is to encourage them to get some work or volunteering experience at a local engineering business. That will give your child the best opportunity to see what it’s like working in that environment and what areas of engineering might be interesting to work in.

It’s also a really good way of developing skills and building a network of useful contacts. And it looks really good on your CV too! More information and useful tips on how to find work experience in engineering can be found at www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk.

About the author: Craig Burton is Founder & Managing Director at The Works Recruitment