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ETB: Career advisors and teachers 'unaware' of apprenticeships

Education professionals are uninformed about apprenticeships and engineering generally according to new research from the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB).

The research suggests that this gap in the knowledge of those advising young people is increasing the skills gap that already exists.

Chief Executive of the ETB Paul Jackson said: "Despite the fact that the average person comes into contact with dozens of pieces of technology every day before work, many teachers, careers advisors, parents and other influencers have a limited understanding of the everyday work of engineers, and this leads to a gap between what they communicate to young people, and the opportunities of the profession.

"Engineering apprenticeships provide a flexible and accessible pathway into what is a diverse and rewarding career. We can and must work together to ensure young people are fully aware of this.," he said.

  • 55% of careers advisors, teachers, tutors and lecturers believed that a degree was the minimum qualification required for a career in engineering, and were apparently unaware of apprenticeships.

  • 39% of education professionals believed a physics qualification is necessary for a career in engineering, which is not true for apprenticeships

  • Only 1 % of education professionals claim to very knowledgeable about chemical engineering

  • Only 4% of education professionals claim to be very knowledgeable about civil engineering

  • More than 25% of education professionals associated engineering with 'men', 'males' and being 'male dominated'

The ETB conclude that many teachers and careers advisors have a limited understanding of the everyday work of engineers, which leads to a gap between what they communicate to young people, and the reality of the profession.

They propose targeting all education professionals to ensure they are well informed about engineering apprenticeships and other pathways into engineering, and that they give consistent, targeted and age-appropriate careers information, and provide advice and guidance for all students at all secondary schools.

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