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Engineering must prove to the young that it helps society

Beth Elgood

Dream career research shows 90 percent of young people want a career that tackles social issues. Helping animals, saving lives and tackling homelessness the dream careers for 9-18 year olds; 67 percent would consider an engineering career if it helped society. Contributor: Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK.

Young people demand a career that will help others according to new research commissioned to launch Engineers Week. The findings show 90 percent of 9-18 year olds want a career that tackles social issues with almost half wanting to help animals (47 percent), two-fifths want to save peoples lives (37 percent) and a third want to help tackle homelessness (29 percent). While two-thirds (65 percent) of Generation Z claim money is the most important thing to look for in a career, 43 percent want to be part of something to be proud of and 37 percent want a career that offers excitement.

Dr. Thilo Pfau, Senior Lecturer in Bio-Engineering at The Royal Veterinary College, commented: “I believe it is important to think of engineering as an exciting area that extends into every area of life. For me personally, it has given me a career which allows me to combine my interest in computers, patterns and algorithms with my passion for animals. I use engineering to help veterinarians diagnose and treat problems that restrict the quality of life of many animals.”

Among the 9-18 year olds questioned by researchers only a few (10 percent) were actively considering a career in engineering but two-thirds (67 percent) would consider a career in engineering if it allowed them to help the world, the environment or save peoples’ lives. During Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (6-10 November 2017) a series of films will be released showcasing engineers on a mission to tackle the issues young people care about the most, such as homelessness, saving lives and helping animals.

Sarah Cain, Reliability and Maintenance Manager, at Mars Chocolate & Wrigley UK, which manufacturers world-famous brands like Skittles and Wrigley’s Extra Gum, said: “Engineers are at the forefront of tackling many of the global problems we face in the world today. From my time working for the RAF fixing aircraft, to my current role where I ensure access to safe food for the millions of people who consume Wrigley’s products, I’ve been able to use my engineering skills to help solve problems that really make a difference.

“For a young person who wants a career that is challenging and satisfying, I can’t think of anything better than a career in engineering.” Sujith Kollamthodi, Practice Director at Ricardo, added: “I use my engineering skills to help improve our air quality and cut the levels of pollution from cars, trucks and buses. An engineering career really can be a dream career as it allows you to contribute to society and make a real difference to people’s lives”.

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, commented: “Engineering careers offer young people what they tell us they’re looking for:  the opportunity to make a difference and to earn salaries that are higher than average, whether they take a graduate or apprenticeship route. Engineering Week started 6th November.