Young people demand jobs that make a difference

Nov 6, 2017


  • Dream career research shows 90% 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% would consider an engineering career if it helped society
  • Tomorrow’s Engineers Week starts today (6th November) to celebrate “engineers on a mission”


Young people demand a career that will help others according to new research commissioned to launch Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.


The findings show 90% of 9-18 year olds want a career that tackles social issues with almost half wanting to help animals (47%), two-fifths want to save peoples lives (37%) and a third want to help tackle homelessness (29%).


While two-thirds (65%) of Generation Z claim money is the most important thing to look for in a career, 43% want to be part of something to be proud of and 37% 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%) were actively considering a career in engineering but two-thirds (67%) 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.


“During Tomorrow’s Engineers Week we will showcase a range of engineers working for organisations as diverse as the Red Cross, GSK and the Royal Veterinary College.”


Grahame Carter, Managing Director at Matchtech, an engineering recruitment firm, commented:

“Engineering is all about solving real world problems and employers in the sector are increasingly looking to recruit passionate young people keen to make a difference. Getting young people into engineering apprenticeships and graduate roles helps them tackle social and global issues and ultimately work towards mitigating the skills gap.”


Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek17) will take place between 6-10 November 2017. Find out more about what engineers can achieve at



Notes to Editors

Results taken from a survey of 1,246 UK young people aged 9 – 18 and 1,000 UK working adults in August 2017, commissioned by EngineeringUK and conducted by Sapio Research.


For more information, contact:

Shelley Doyle, 07764497362, [email protected]

Sarah Colombini, 07731462451, [email protected]

Simon Francis, 07738487259, [email protected]


Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek17) takes place from 6-10 November 2017 and aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers and to inspire future engineers. Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is led by EngineeringUK. To find out how to get involved, visit


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. For more information, visit


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