This includes things like them not having the right approach to work and not being able to apply technical knowledge in a workplace context. This was the view of 62 per cent of employers in the IET’s 2016 Skills Survey, which also revealed that 68 per cent of employers are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change.
At the same time, employers have also often said that offering students practical work experience is an important way of tackling these problems – and that they were willing to do more to make a range of quality work experience, internships and work placements available.
This is further evidenced as 91 per cent of engineering employers agreed that to improve the supply of engineers more employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training – and 76 per cent felt that compelling all engineering and technology companies to provide work experience would improve the pool of engineering talent.
It’s for this reason we’ve just launched our ‘Engineering Work Experience for All’ campaign to highlight the importance of more universities and companies offering quality work experience to engineering students.
Our aim is to bring together employers, universities and policymakers to collaborate to improve the range of work experience opportunities available to engineering students. We want to showcase the best practice work experience schemes already on offer to engineering students – and shout about the benefits and tackle the challenges of making creative, practical and engaging engineering work experience opportunities more widespread.
Work experience provides many benefits and gives young people skills and experience that will allow them to stand out to potential employers as well as helping them choose the right sector to work in.
As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade, and growing uncertainty around the ability to recruit the right skills following Brexit, it is more important than ever that we develop the next generation of ‘home grown’ engineering and technology talent. ■
Director of Policy
From Adjacent Oil & Gas 5, November 2016