Jan 24, 2018
#ThisIsEngineering campaign launched to tackle critical shortfall of engineering talent holding back the UK economy
- Findings from a forthcoming EngineeringUK report identify an annual demand for at least 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills
- To help meet this demand, the Royal Academy of Engineering is launching the #ThisIsEngineering campaign in collaboration with EngineeringUK and industry partners
- The campaign is designed to reshape the perception of engineering, and give more young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to explore how they could follow what they love into a varied and fulfilling engineering career
London, 24 January 2018: The #ThisIsEngineering campaign has been launched today by the Royal Academy of Engineering in collaboration with EngineeringUK and industry partners to give more young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to explore how they could follow what they love into a varied and fulfilling engineering career across a range of industries from film, to sport, gaming and music.
Launched in the government’s Year of Engineering, the campaign is being backed by a consortium of major engineering companies, and has been created in response to significant demand for engineering talent in the UK. Findings from a forthcoming EngineeringUK report show that there is an annual demand for at least 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills, and an additional 79,000 roles that require engineering knowledge and skills alongside other skill sets.
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of #ThisIsEngineering shows that 63% of young people (aged 13 to 18) think they will have a career that taps into their existing passions. They also said that when it comes to talking about the kinds of jobs they would like to do, they would prefer their parents to talk to them about their current interests, rather than what they want to be when they grow up.
However, the research also shows that young people are not inspired by talking to parents about their jobs, and only 35% of young people believe their parents’ careers involve something they are passionate about. Instead, young people online are increasingly turning to the internet for information about careers (52%), with search engines overtaking conversations with parents (41%) and teachers (37%) as a source of advice and inspiration.
Historically, the full breadth of engineering opportunities has not been widely understood or acknowledged, resulting in the perception that a career in engineering is narrow, technical and traditional. The #ThisIsEngineering campaign will help to reset the conversation about engineering, tapping into young people’s passions for subjects such as sport, technology and design, and illustrating through social media that the profession is diverse, challenging and creative.
It aims to bring engineering to life for young people from all backgrounds, demonstrating the role it plays across multiple industries – from fashion to sport - and give young people a better understanding of how their current passions could become rewarding careers through engineering.
Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CEO, Royal Academy of Engineering, comments: "Engineering is essential to the future growth of the UK economy and underpins so much of our day to day lives, but we are still facing a chronic shortfall of talent. Engineering can provide a unique opportunity for young people to develop their passions into rewarding careers involving everything from sport, film and space, to music and fashion. It opens the door to careers that can shape the future – from developing the next smartphone to creating medical devices that will save lives.
"The #ThisIsEngineering campaign brings together some of the UK’s leading engineering businesses to communicate this, and to address the skills shortage. The campaign is designed to reflect how young people think and feel about their futures, and illustrate how, through engineering, it’s possible to have a job that is truly inspiring."
Mark Titterington, CEO, Engineering UK comments: "The demand for people with engineering skills continues to outstrip supply; and provisional figures from our forthcoming report suggest that a continued focus on encouraging more pupils to choose STEM subjects and increasing diversity in engineering throughout the education system and into employment is vital to meeting demand.
But there's more to be done. I continue to be amazed by the diversity of the opportunities that engineering can provide and the challenges that engineers can overcome. It’s vital that young people are able to see and be inspired by the diversity and the creativity of the profession. That’s where #ThisIsEngineering comes in."
Skills Minister Anne Milton said: "I want to see everyone regardless of their background, where they live or who they know have the chance to get a rewarding career in engineering whether they follow a technical or academic route. As this report makes clear, we must inspire the younger generation and expose them to the exciting range of fulfilling careers and jobs available today.
"The government’s Year of Engineering gives us a great opportunity to address this by working with business to inspire a new generation of world class engineers. Through our ambitious new careers and skills strategy we will be strengthening careers leadership in schools with £4m of training and support, to help young people make the right choices for their future."
Minister for the Year of Engineering, Nusrat Ghani, said: "The Year of Engineering 2018 is all about transforming perceptions of engineering, showing young people from all backgrounds the immense creativity and opportunity of the profession. Careers in the industry are a chance for young people to shape the future and have a real impact on the lives of those around them.
"Role models are a vital way of showing this, and it’s fantastic to see This is Engineering celebrating exciting and unexpected stories of modern engineers. We look forward to working with the Royal Academy of Engineering and industry partners to inspire the next generation."
The #ThisIsEngineering campaign launches today with a high profile online advertising campaign, which brings to life the stories of five young engineers who have turned their passions into careers involving sport, fashion, tech, design and space. More information about the campaign is available at www.ThisisEngineering.org.uk
The Royal Academy of Engineering and EngineeringUK are partners in the government-led Year of Engineering, a year-long programme to 'open the doors' to engineering and encourage the public, particularly young people, to take a closer look.
Notes for Editors
- Royal Academy of Engineering.As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.
We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession
- EngineeringUK is a not-for- profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community to promote the vital role of engineers and engineering and to inspire the next generation. EngineeringUK leads engagement programmes The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers, and produces the annual State of Engineering report.
The research was commissioned by The Royal Academy of Engineering, and undertaken online by independent research company, YouGov, in December 2017. It surveyed 572 children aged between 13 and 18 and 1,049 parents in Britain (aged 18+). The results have been weighted and are representative of GB adults (aged 18+) and GB children.
This is Engineering is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, in collaboration with EngineeringUK, and with the generous support of corporate partners:
Founding Principal partners
Find out more about the Royal Academy of Engineering here.
Find out more about our partners here.
For more information please contact:
Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel: 020 7766 0620