Engineering is behind everything you can see and touch, from smartphones and hair styling products, to the lights we switch on and the shoes we walk in. This means the skills you need to be a successful engineer are also wide ranging.
It isn’t just a passion for physics or maths that you need to enter into engineering, but creativity, a hands-on practical mind-set and a knack for problem solving.
Source: Tomorrow's Engineers Week
These cognitive skills are well developed and used in STEM subjects. For example, as a chemical engineer you need to understand how different elements react with one another and what chain reaction this could cause. It requires the ability to thinking through a process or an experiment with a firm idea of the consequences. This ability to forward plan and mitigate any problems can be developed in other subjects, not necessarily STEM, for example social sciences.
This is just one example, but it demonstrates how being an engineer and the skills you use day to day go beyond what many people think you need.
At EEF we've worked hard to breakdown the misconceptions about engineering. Our trump cards are an easy and accessible way to get a good understanding the type of people, jobs and skills you use when you working in engineering and manufacturing. Or why not take a look at our training centre in Aston Technology Training Centre in Birmingham. The Centre is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide high quality training on the use of machinery and equipment commonly found in manufacturing and engineering environments.
We're pushing for greater dissemination of this kind of information, in particular graduate salary data, to young people. This can be achieved by better careers engagement at school through to compulsory work placements at university. It also means tackling the problem of attracting enough women into the sector too.
We support the government's Year of Engineering and see this as a good first step. However, let us ensure that skills for the engineering and manufacturing sector remains a government priority because supporting manufacturers to identify and access the skills they need will be of paramount importance in the coming years.
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