How does it compare to other options when choosing a career? The ECITB, which represents engineering construction businesses, asked 500 14-17 year old secondary school students what they thought. Not surprisingly they found there are things young people don’t know about engineering construction work - things that they would really want to know when they make their career choices!
Finding: Only 4% wanted to do an apprenticeship.
Fact: But did you know an engineering construction apprenticeship can be a fantastic way to get into a professional career where you can go all the way to the top, go on to a degree with the backing of your employer - and, instead of getting into debt, actually get paid from the age of 16!
Finding: Almost half of students hadn’t even heard of engineering construction, with most when asked saying it was about building bridges, roads and railways.
Fact: Most engineering construction work is around power generation, nuclear plants, oil and gas, chemical plants and the rapidly growing renewable energy such as wind farms and tidal turbines.
Finding: About half of students see engineering construction as mainly manual labour and less than a quarter said it was highly skilled. Wrong… and wrong again!!
Fact: All engineering construction work is skilled, much of it highly skilled. It’s always very practical and often involves hands on work, such as welding and electrical maintenance, but these very satisfying (and well paid) jobs require great skill.
Finding: A third of young people know things about engineering construction the other two-thirds don’t - and because of that they see what a great career move it can be.
Fact: it’s highly skilled and not about manual labour, it’s very well paid even for young people, it offers life long careers with fantastic prospects, it offers challenging work in the UK and abroad….it can even be good for society and the environment!
Finding: Many young people don’t know what qualifications can get you into engineering construction.
Fact: Male or female, all you need initially is GCSEs or A-levels in science (especially physics), technology and maths subjects - and an eye for a great career opportunity. As engineering construction can offer a career for life, you typically accumulate other qualifications as your career progresses, from vocational qualifications such as diplomas to university degrees and even post-graduate awards like a PHD or Masters.
Finding: Most young people believe engineering construction is a growing industry.
Fact: They’re right!!
Finding: Almost eight out of ten students were “very concerned” about finding a job when they leave school or graduate, with the same number believing a degree is the best way to secure a long term career (only 17% said an apprenticeship is the best way).
Fact: Great news for job seekers - engineering construction just can’t get enough people! It’s facing a big skills shortage and getting in now could give you a job for life. An apprenticeship - working, earning and learning - can give you the best possible start, and you can still do a degree later, almost certainly with the help of your employer, and get to the very top of your chosen profession.
Finding: Most people, not surprisingly, see money as one of the most important factors in choosing a career. The majority also want a clear career path.
Fact: At whatever level you start in engineering construction - from apprentice to professional engineer - you’ll find good (sometime very, very good!) salaries and income levels that more than compete with other lines of business.
Finding: Most young people don’t think engineering construction offers good job opportunities at different levels.
Fact: They’re wrong!
Finding: More than half of young people said they got NO careers information at all about engineering construction.
Fact: There’s tons of other information available about careers in engineering construction. Ask your careers adviser or make a start yourself at www.ecitb.org.uk - and look out for the online tool, The Career Progression Route Map, which tells you qualifications, jobs, careers - the lot!
Finding: Most young people just don’t seem to realise the incredible opportunities that there are to have a really good job in the engineering construction sector.
Fact: The engineering construction sector will need about 60,000 new recruits in the coming years. They’ll do well-paid, well-respected jobs, have great careers and make a real contribution to the future of our country.
Finding: Young people say salary, benefits, a clear career path, responsibility and opportunities to travel are among the most important things when deciding on a career.
Fact: A career in engineering construction can offer all of these things and more.