Attitudes and knowledge | Young people

Engineering Brand Monitor

The Engineering Brand Monitor 2021, parents and students report, published April 2022, aims to understand perceptions and understanding around engineering, as well as aspirations and intentions to pursue engineering as a career, and how parents and teachers can influence these aspirations. 

Here, the Engineering Brand Monitor sets out to understand what young people know about engineering careers and how they perceive them. This includes their knowledge about what engineers can do in their jobs, the image they have of engineering, their perception that being an engineer ‘fits’ well with who they are and their interest in a career in engineering.

Our analysis also suggests knowledge of what an engineer does and how you become an engineer as well as perceptions and interest in the profession varies by not only by gender, but also socioeconomic background, ethnicity and region. The report found:  

  • Only 48% of girls say they know what engineers do, compared to 61% of boys 
  • Young people from lower income families are less likely to be interested in engineering, with only 43% of young people from a lower income and level of education family saying they are interested compared to 65% of young people from a higher income and level of education family.  
  • Where you live can influence your knowledge of engineering pathways. Teenagers in London are twice as likely to know what subjects or qualifications they need to become an engineer than young people in the West Midlands (60% compared to 30%) 

For the first time, parents were asked to answer questions about their perceptions of engineering, professional backgrounds, and how much they engage in careers activities with their child, before handing the survey over to their child to complete. This means that responses from parents and young people to the EBM can be linked and the association between responses from each examined.

  • Young people whose parents said they know what engineers do were more than twice as likely to express an interest in an engineering career than those whose parents said they did not 
  • 78% of young people whose parents said they regularly do STEM activities with their child said they were interested in a career in engineering  
  • Nearly 9 in 10 young people whose parents said they were confident giving their child advice about careers in engineering said they were interested in a career in engineering. 

Download the Engineering Brand Monitor 2021, parents and students report

Download the Engineering Brand Monitor 2021, students data tables

Previous Engineering Brand Monitor reports remain available in our research archive.


Environmental Sustainability and Engineering

Published in September 2022, this briefing looks the opinions of young people, their parents and teachers using data from the Engineering Brand Monitor.

Our findings include:

  • 70% of young people said ‘engineers are important for improving the environment’
  • Young people who agreed that ‘engineers are important for improving the environment’ were almost 7 times more likely to be interested in a career that involves engineering than those who did not agree.

Find out more and download the briefing.


Levelling up engineering skills

Levelling up engineering skills: widening opportunities for young people, published in January 2022, provides an overview of young people’s and their parents’ knowledge and perceptions of the different routes into engineering careers, drawing on regional insights from EngineeringUK’s latest Engineering Brand Monitor.

Our analysis reveals:

  • Less than half of young people know about the apprenticeship options available to them
  • Most young people don’t yet know what T levels are
  • Young people’s knowledge of pathways into engineering differs by region but it is not a clear-cut north/south divide
  • Socioeconomic background appears to play a role in shaping young people’s knowledge and perceptions of education and skills pathways

Find out more and download the briefing

Young people and Covid-19

During the pandemic, in summer 2020, we surveyed young people (aged 11 to 19). Our Young people and Covid-19 briefing, published in August 2020, presents the findings, which included:

  • The pandemic is deepening gender differences in career aspirations in engineering or technology
  • Young people are concerned going to university or becoming an apprentice will be more difficult in the future

We made recommendations to support young people, including ensuring they have access to education, training, jobs and work placements in STEM.

Find out more and download the briefing