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Talent 2030 campaign launched to tempt young women into engineering

Business group the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) today launched a campaign to tempt more young people — especially young women — into careers as engineers, for the good of the UK economy.

The subject choices made by 13 year olds have enormous consequences for their future career and also the UK economy, the CIHT said. “Research shows that young people, especially girls, would not even consider a career in manufacturing or engineering. Worse still, older girls who would — when given information about manufacturing or engineering — consider a career in the sector, have already made A level or degree choices that bar the way.”

The CIHE today launched its Talent 2030 campaign website to encourage young people to choose a career in engineering, and published its Great Expectations report examining the need to encourage more girls and young women into the industry.

CIHE identified that of the 600 second and third year female undergraduates with strong numeracy skills that were surveyed, 41% could be persuaded to take up a career in manufacturing and engineering, but were not doing the right degrees (CIHE labelled this group Fresh Starters) and 26% were persuadable towards engineering and had the right degrees (CIHE labelled this group Switchers).

Positive messages

The CIHE survey found that the following three messages were most effective in influencing girls and young women to follow careers in manufacturing and engineering.

  1. You can earn a high salary. 50% of women surveyed said that knowing they could earn £80,000 plus in manufacturing would have had a significant impact on their educational choices.
  2. You can help save the planet. Well over half of Fresh Starters (defined as women who could be persuaded to take up a career in manufacturing and engineering, but were not doing the right degrees) would be interested in retraining if they could take up jobs in sustainable engineering and manufacturing.
  3. It’s not just for men in white coats and hard hats. 70% of our Fresh Starters thought that engineering and manufacturing was male-centric.

“Businesses, universities and schools must work together to ensure that these messages get to girls and young women, but also to other hard to reach groups,” said CIHE.

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