Our analysis, published in 2018, showed that just 24% of those working in engineering come from low socio-economic backgrounds, an underrepresentation that is largely a consequence of low participation and attainment in the engineering educational pipeline.
The Social mobility in engineering briefing builds on the data and analysis contained within the Engineering UK 2018 state of engineering report (available in our research archive) and gives an overview of social mobility in engineering, both in terms of the educational pipeline and the workforce. It considers the potential implications of recent policy reforms, presents trends in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) educational attainment and participation among those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and reflects on how these impact on their employment outcomes. It also examines the barriers to participation in engineering and highlights various strategies being implemented to overcome them.
To address the skills shortage and reap the considerable benefits a more diverse workforce can offer, we must do more as a community to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to study and excel in STEM and work to identify and tackle barriers that may inhibit them from pursuing engineering.
The Social mobility in engineering briefing contains inputs from Pearson, Sutton Trust, Jacobs and Brightside.