School pupils not prepared for engineering careers

Posted on 07 Sep 2017 and read 383 times
School pupils not prepared for engineering careersAlison Carr, director of policy at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (www.theiet.org), has said that the career prospects of thousands of students who recently received their GCSE results are being hampered by a lack of work-experience opportunities.

“As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade, compounded by uncertainty around skills following Brexit, it is never too early to start developing the next generation of ‘home-grown’ engineering and technology talent with the right practical skills.”

She called for employers to widen the opportunities available for young people, adding: “Work experience is part of the solution, and we are now calling on employers and educators to continue to strengthen their working relationships to ensure that the work experience they offer is designed with the skills gap in mind.”

In an IET survey last year of more than 400 engineering employers, 68% were concerned that the education system would struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change, while 50% said that a typical recruit did not meet their ‘reasonable expectations’; and while the number of students taking STEM subjects at A-level increased this year, that trend is threatened by teacher shortages, according to Sarah Main, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

She said: “Students are equipped and inspired by great teachers with specialist knowledge of their subject.

“Government must do more to address chronic teacher shortages in physics, maths and computing, to ensure that every student can benefit from having a teacher with expertise in the science subject they are teaching.”

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