19 May 2012
Careers advice in UK ‘sorely lacking’
Proposed changes to careers guidance in schools could lead to a shortage of people pursuing careers in engineering and so hamper the UK’s economic recovery, according to a new policy statement by the Institution of
Dr Colin Brown, director of engineering at the IMechE, said: “The UK’s career advice system is still sorely lacking. We need to be boosting funding to ensure that we can steer talented young people into careers that are vital to the country’s future — like engineering and science. Instead, the country is cutting funding, scrapping face-to-face counselling in schools — and there is still insufficient involvement from industry. We need the people in industry who are creating these jobs to provide careers advice, particularly given that many teachers and careers advisors are unaware of the realities of working in different industries. It could prove hugely damaging to the country’s economy if we do not address the issue of substandard careers advice, with many industries losing out on employing talented individuals.”
The UK needs 31,100 new graduate engineers every year for the next five years in order to meet industry demand, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, develop the manufacturing sector and — more fundamentally — to support the country’s economy. Access to the full policy statement can be obtained by contacting the IMechE press office (020 7304 6877, firstname.lastname@example.org).