Published in December 2021, the Engineering Brand Monitor 2021, STEM secondary teachers report examines their knowledge and understanding of engineering and the extent to which they feel able and are motivated to provide related careers guidance and activities to their students. We hope to shed light on how teachers as key influencers can be better supported and, in turn, support young people from all backgrounds to have the capability, opportunity and motivation to pursue an engineering career.
Teachers, as key educators and one of the major influencers of young people, need to have the knowledge, confidence and experience to provide quality STEM education to their students and give them a good understanding of engineering careers and how to get into them. Encouragingly, we found that knowledge of engineering and confidence in giving careers advice was generally high among the teachers surveyed.
However, it is not enough that teachers feel knowledgeable about engineering and confident in giving related careers advice to their students. They must be able to apply this. In other words, teachers must have, and utilise, the opportunity to help their students make sense of their own possible educational and career opportunities.
The majority of teachers surveyed said that their school supports students to develop the skills they would need to pursue engineering if they wanted to.
While many teachers are aware of their role in communicating careers information, advice and guidance (IAG) and have the opportunity to link this into their lessons, they are less likely to know the appropriate tools, resources, and activities to do so.
Our findings suggest there is some work to be done to improve the careers information and advice teachers are providing.
It is important that teachers are motivated to provide high quality STEM education that fosters hard and soft skills, and to encourage their students to explore engineering as an inclusive and desirable career
Our findings indicate that a large proportion of teachers are not currently embedding careers information into their STEM lessons or able to carry out STEM activities on a regular basis.
We aim to explore areas for improvement within the STEM education system, and recommendations for the engineering sector and policymakers. Our findings confirm insights from previous research undertaken by EngineeringUK and partners, particularly around the issue of funding for careers provision and the need for ongoing and better training and support for teachers.
And so, the recommendations in the report largely build on recommendations made in Our careers, our future STEM careers provision and young people: