Feb 10, 2022
EngineeringUK has published a new briefing on ‘Levelling up engineering skills’ which provides an insight into what young people and their parents know about the different vocational routes into engineering.
The government's levelling up white paper rightly recognised ‘human capital’ is vital to the UK’s long-term success. Ensuring that all young people regardless of where they live, and their background, have the opportunity to succeed must always be central to that ambition. It is also central to our work to encourage more young people to consider a career in engineering. While giving them the opportunity of well-paid, rewarding career it, of course, supports the industry challenge of securing the skilled workforce required.
One element in securing that future workforce is diversifying the routes into the industry. More employers need to value and offer vocational routes in, giving young people the option to learn and train in ways that suit them. There is also more to be done to showcase those routes and the opportunities they represent.
The 'Levelling up engineering skills' briefing highlights that there is still a significant majority of young people who don’t know about the apprenticeship options available to them, with even more young people having no knowledge of the new T level qualification. It also shows that this knowledge varies by region and by parental socio-economic and educational status, with insights from our latest Engineering Brand Monitor.
As the briefing was published in January, when the levelling up white paper was approaching, it finishes by highlighting 7 questions for policymakers focused on ensuring that all young people, whatever their background gender or ethnicity know about the career opportunities in the science and engineering sectors, and the routes to get there:
- Places and people – What is the interplay between the place-based objectives for levelling up and the government’s social mobility goals? What can and should the government do to address both?
- Empowering local solutions - What role is envisaged for local government and regional government in levelling up skills, including combined authority mayors?
- Widening participation – How will the levelling up white paper help to widen participation for young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in vocational, academic and combined routes into science and engineering?
- Increasing awareness of vocational pathways – What steps will the government take to help level up knowledge and awareness of vocational routes into science and engineering, including apprenticeships and T levels?
- Careers provision - What steps are the government taking to increase investment in careers information, advice and guidance in schools and colleges as part of the drive to level up skills? Will the roll out of careers hubs be accelerated for example?
- Cross-departmental working - How will government departments work together to ensure an integrated approach on areas like skills, careers provision, youth unemployment and future workforce planning?
- Measuring success - How will the government measure success in levelling up skills outcomes for young people, including widening opportunities in STEM?
Beatrice Barleon, Head of Public Affairs & Policy at EngineeringUK, has written a blog about the levelling up white paper and why education and the skills agenda will be key drivers.
EngineeringUK has published a response welcoming the white paper for its recognition of the importance of skills and education.< Back to News & Views