Building Careers in Engineering from Nursery Up

author profile picture

by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

Every year, primary school kids around the country celebrate careers day by dressing up as the job they’d like to do when they grow up. Amidst the mini doctors, firefighters and nurses turning up at the school gates, you won’t spot many mini-engineers; particularly amongst the girls.

The lack of awareness of potential careers in engineering – amongst both children and their parents – has been a significant obstacle to attracting talent to engineering professions over the past few decades, which has contributed to a significant skills shortage. If children don’t know what potential roles are out there, they cannot aim for them and may be missing out on developing a career that is both fulfilling and financially rewarding.

It’s an issue that is particularly striking when it comes to the number of girls working towards careers in engineering. According to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) only nine percent of the engineering workforce in the UK is female, with young women making up just 3.8 percent of engineering Apprenticeship starts in 2013/14.

This is despite the significant efforts that have been put into promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects in schools and the investment that has been ploughed into improving teaching provision and facilities in this area. While the general message that a STEM-focused education is a route into a wide variety of interesting and lucrative careers seems to be getting through in high schools and further education environments, children’s ideas about potential future careers are often formed at a much earlier age.

Anecdotal stories from female engineers testify to this trend. Many were influenced in their career decision because a family member was an engineer, rather than because they were switched on to the idea at high school.

This raises the question, how do we influence parents to promote the idea of a career in engineering to their children and, in particular, to their daughters?

The answer is that education about engineering needs to go beyond the classroom and into the community so that both future generations and their influencers understand the true diversity and opportunity on offer. Only by changing perceptions about engineering can we change the demographics of those choosing to enter the sector.

Parents who are also engineers are already evangelists for the sector, but we now need them to influence their friends and their friends’ children as well as their own families if we are to fill our future skills needs.

The media also has a key role to play, not only in highlighting the variety of careers on offer but also in avoiding the stereotypes of engineering as a male-dominated environment that have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s still a perception that engineering involves manual labour or being ‘on the tools’, when in fact it’s more mental ability. White collar jobs are traditionally defined as those performed in an office, cubicle or admin setting, yet engineering is bucking the trend with lots of technical roles involving the design, build and maintenance of software and equipment, which are very thought-intensive processes.

Perceptions about careers in engineering are changing but we need more rapid change to influence young people at all stages of their education journey by showcasing the range of exciting careers from entry-level positions through to management and senior roles. The diversity of careers that an engineering qualification can open up isn’t something that’s getting through to young people, with the following just a selection of the many roles available:

  • Aerospace & avionics engineering
  • Architectural & construction engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Commissioning engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Estimator engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Petroleum, oil & gas engineering
  • Plant engineering
  • Rail engineering
  • Site engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Telecoms, digital comms & networks engineering

If you’re looking at building a career in engineering, click here. Or why not have a read on how some inspiring female engineers got into the industry here.

Subscribe to the Blog

If you enjoy our content, fill out the form below and you will kept up to date with our latest blogs!

Cx Jobs

HR Administrator

HR/Case Coaching Administrator; £9.00/hr PAYE plus hols; Portsmouth; 12 Months Contract This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to be part of the Employee Relations HR Team working with our client BAE Systems based at Portsmouth. Whilst the role reports into the People Services Organisation, it is functionally tagged to the Business Support Organisation. The role reports into the Employee Relations Manager but will support the entirety of Maritime Services, including People Services and Business Support Main responsibilities (but not limited to this list):Become a super user of the case management system - ServiceNow, providing guidance and support to the HR teams as requiredMonitor the shared mailbox, where notifications of new cases are registered, assign cases to the HR Teams in the lines of business as requiredLead absence management, liaising with employees and managers as required, including:Receive Long Term Sick notifications from FirstCare.Send launch email to line manager to escalate case.Set up case on ServiceNow and allocate advisorCalculate sick payNotify sick pay instructions to payroll and issue sick pay notification letters to employeesComplete SSP1 forms as necessary.Manage absence close notifications sent to shared mailbox, updating the system records accordingly.Uploading Occupational Health reports onto the system.Provide guidance on adjustments to line managers of cases less than 28 days.Management of phased returns, contacting line manager and appropriate HR teams (if necessary) to ensure successful completion of phased return and full time return to work Support the administration of the GIP (Group Income Protection) processProvide support to the lines of business HR Teams with case administration, including setting up meetings, correspondence with employees and taking notes at investigation meetings and hearingsLead on the businesses reporting requirements for cases, reaching into the line of business to ensure their reporting requirement are accommodatedUndertake audits of ServiceNow (in liaison with the Employee Relations Manager) to ensure they are in date and appropriate records of cases are being kept.Monitor consistency of cases across the lines of business, reporting good practices and any concerns into the Employee Relations Manager.Be part of the wider UK Employee Relations Team, joining appropriate team meetings as required.Support the line of business HR Teams in the co-ordination and administration of Employment Tribunal Claims.Support the Employee Relations Manager on administration tasks as required, including the various Employee Relations meetings which take place on an adhoc and cyclical basis. Morson is acting as a recruitment business in relation to this vacancy

Software Engineer (Full Stack)

FULL STACK SOFTWARE ENGINEERBRISTOLSC / DV CLEARANCE - MUST BE IN PLACE BEFORE STARTINTERVIEWS ASAP6 MONTH CONTRACT As a Software Engineer you will work as part of an Agile team developing software solutions.You will have an understanding of various development methodologies (Agile\Waterfall) and Design Patterns.You will have a good working knowledge with Enterprise application development and Automated Test Environments and experience with JavaScript Web frameworks, Java and Relational Databases. Your responsibilities will include: * Producing and maintaining web applications to meet customer requirements* Active involvement and collaboration within the Agile team* Documenting technical design and code* Full-stack software design and implementation* Use of various software development tools for Issue Tracking, Configuration control and software development and unit testing. What do I need to do the role? o Developing web applications with: JavaScript using the Vue framework (or similar) HTML/CSSOR: o Proven application of DevOps practices, techniques and technologies to improve delivery and development in an Agile environment* Experience developing server side applications using: o Java o Spring o Hibernate/Relational Databases o Maven* An understanding of both Agile and more traditional development methodologies * Exhibit excellent communication skills both oral and written. * Ability to work autonomously and use initiative. * Willingness to learn new skills. Desirable: * Experience with an Automated test framework, such as Cypress or similar * Experience of working in the defence or public sectors * As would experience of Radio Communication systems.

Interim HR Project Manager (SC Cleared)

My large Energy client is looking to appoint an Interim HR Project Manager for a 6 month fixed term contract. All suitable applicants must hold a full & recent Security Clarence - anyone without this will not be considered for the role. Candidates must also be available to start a new role immediately. This Interim HR Project Manager role will support ongoing HR change across the business and will manage a number of HR projects. Reporting in to the Head of HR you will take responsibility for a number of ongoing business / HR projects working with the HRBP and Senior HR team to drive change forward. This role can be based from anywhere in the UK but some travel may be required. The salary for this role is £50,000 - £60,000 pa.

Invoice Processor

Morson International currently have a temp-perm position available for an Invoice Processor to work for our client based in Motherwell. This is to work on a full-time basis within the Accounts Payable/Receivable team. Key Accountabilities: Invoice processing of both PO and Non - POKey controls on vendor name and bank detailsProcessing of invoicesInvoice error resolutionMonitor and maintain invoice resolution queuesFollow up procurementPotential duplicate invoice control reportAccounts payable/receivableKnowledge and experience required: Previous invoicing experience requiredExperience within Accounts payable and receivableIT literate (SAP desirable) Ability to work under pressureStrong communication and organisational skills If you have the required knowledge and experience, please apply today or contact Courtney Tucker for further information.

Austin Distel Va Opp86kf Q Unsplash