Help to inspire the UK's next generation of manufacturers
EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, is urging
parents, teachers and employers to make 2017 the year they help to inspire the
UK's next generation of manufacturers and engineers.
The call follows concerns that young people are missing out on vital
opportunities for a long-term, dynamic and well paid career because they are
being put off by outdated myths and misperceptions about the sector.
To raise awareness and to help people better understand what modern day
manufacturing and engineering are really all about, EEF has pulled together a
top 10 list of myths and facts:-
1. Manufacturing and engineering are just for boys…
Myth: they both provide open and equal opportunities to enjoy an exciting,
rewarding and creative long term career. Companies are actively encouraging more
female apprentices and graduates to join and employers are keen to encourage and
support women throughout their careers.
2. There will be over 2.5 million job openings in engineering companies up to:-
Fact:- these figures from Engineering UK show that engineering companies are
continuously looking to recruit. With an ageing workforce it is more important
than ever to ensure there is a pipeline of talent coming into the industry.
3. The work is low paid…
Myth:- engineering graduates now earn over £5,000 or 22% a year, more than other
UK graduates; a figure that further reinforces engineering's reputation for
being a well paid career. At the same time an engineer can expect to earn
£32,699 a year, while a senior engineer can expect £41, 800. In contrast,
national average pay in the UK is £27,607 a year according to ONS.
4. Work in manufacturing is manual and repetitive…
Myth:- with the advent of a new digital industrial era, demand for skilled and
highly skilled workers over the next 3 years will soar. Firms are on the hunt
for people management and leadership skills, production related technical skills
and craft/technician skills. Sales and marketing and IT and software skills are
extremely valuable too.
5. Employers have strong recruitment plans…
Fact:- 66% of manufacturers plan to recruit an engineering graduate in the next
3 years and 66% plan to recruit an engineering apprentice in the next 12 months.
6. The prospects for graduates aren't so good as in other sectors…
Myth:- according to Engineering UK, 66% of engineering and technology graduates
were in full time employment within 6 months of graduating, compared with 58% of
7. Manufacturing doesn't have a future in the digital age…
Myth:- manufacturing's future is the digital age and UK manufacturers are
already gearing up to take advantage. New technologies will start to change the
way factories look in a relatively short space of time and over 8 in 10
manufacturers (83%) say that they will need to invest in staff skills in order
to adopt them.
8. Smart kids only go to University….
Myth:- smart kids can also take an apprenticeship and apprenticeships can also
lead to a degree. Young people today have choices and an apprenticeship is just
as valid a career pathway as going to University; plus, because you 'earn
and learn' you can avoid incurring student debt.
9. Raising awareness isn't important…
Myth:- 72% of manufacturers say raising awareness of apprenticeships will
encourage more young people into manufacturing; 63% say the same of STEM
promoting initiatives between schools and business.
10. Careers advice has a role to play in inspiring young people…
Fact:- 6 in 10 firms (60%) say better informed careers advice will encourage
more young people into engineering.
Steve Warren, North West Region Director at EEF, says:- "A career in
manufacturing and engineering ticks all the boxes, offering jobs, good pay and
the chance of an interesting and dynamic long term career. Our sector has much
to offer and by helping young people to understand this we will give them every
reason to want to get involved. Manufacturing and engineering also offer young
people the chance to choose the career path that is right for them. Whether you
choose to 'earn and learn' as an apprentice or join industry as a graduate, the
fact is that your choice will be respected and your ability and ambition
rewarded. It's vital we get this message out there so that more young people
feel inspired to seize the opportunity to start a great career."
To find out more, visit EEF's dedicated apprentice
website, where young people, parents and
teachers can find guides, information and interactive tools to help them get up
to speed on careers and apprenticeships in manufacturing and engineering.