Failure to integrate engineering in curriculum could threaten the UK economy
Published: 21 Nov 2017 By Matt Cook
A recent report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has suggested that students are receiving minimal exposure to engineering subjects which is resulting in fewer selecting this as a prospective career path.
The lack of emphasis in schools means many students lack the information or confidence to consider engineering as a potential career. IMechE also suggests that teachers and career guidance professionals lack time and material to promote engineering and the associated opportunities available to students.
IMechE believes there is an urgent need for the Government to re-establish how it is promoting engineering to current and prospective students. In particular, IMechE believes this has to include a stronger focus on girls who generally have been identified as feeling less informed or inspired to pursue a career in engineering. UK engineering is currently one of the least diverse professions in the developed world, with only 9% of engineers being women.
The IMechE report highlights several key points that should be considered by the Government:
1. Create a working group of educational leaders and stakeholder to research new and innovative ways engineering can be integrated into the wider curriculum.
2. Appoint a dedicated engineering champion within schools to provide a consistent communication channel between the government, industry and schools.
3. Encourage a curriculum that includes the ‘made world’ in modern society, incorporating engineering, maths and design technology.
4. Inspire the National Education Department to include teaching that promotes problem-based learning.
5. Appoint engineering and industry leaders within schools to inspire and drive change.
6. Appoint an Industry School Governor to support industry leaders.
7. Encourage schools to create a solid career strategy that incorporates engineering as a major career prospect.
8. Create a unified message within the engineering community that provides a simple message about engineering, problem-solving and the social benefits associated with the profession.
9. Provide students with opportunities to be part of engineering activities.
Engineering currently accounts for nearly 6 million engineering jobs and contribute over £480 bn to the economy. With Brexit looming and the potential threat of not being able to attract E.U. engineers to work in the UK, the UK must encourage more people to consider engineering as a potential career choice.
Explore the latest engineering jobs in the UK here.