Concerns have been raised over the fact that despite major government efforts, the number of young people reportedly taking advanced engineering apprenticeships is falling.
The report from Engineering UK also shows that the number of new engineering graduates is slowing down, and that engineering graduates may be less likely to gain employment than their peers. The National Apprenticeship Service has suggested that the number of over-25s taking on apprenticeship roles is on the rise, implying that firms may be choosing to train up existing staff rather than taking on new young people.
Engineering is integral to economic development, combating climate change and improving energy security, yet there appears to be a lack focus in promoting engineering as an attractive career option in schools, with one fifth of teachers believing that engineering is an “undesirable career”. This leaves just 12 per cent of 12-16 year olds understanding what an engineer actually does and most young people believing that engineers are poorly paid.
Patrick Phelan, Managing Director of Aquaterra Energy, said: “With the worrying lack of understanding and promotion in the educational sector, the industry must work hard to support, encourage and provide opportunities for young people. Aquaterra Energy believes that much can be done to motivate more young people to consider and pursue engineering careers and that this, in time, will help to ease the skills shortage.
“The company also offers an extensive training programme and apprenticeship scheme, which enables young people and career changers to enter the industry and embark on exciting career paths. As a member of the Oil and Gas industry Council, I am involved in furthering the key objective of bridging the skills gap and ensuring continued future growth for the oil and gas industry.”