From education to employment

Securing the future: renewed call for investment in careers provision


EngineeringUK has renewed calls on government to invest £40m to improve access to careers provision for students in schools and colleges in England. With support from the Sutton Trust, EngineeringUK has made the point that greater investment alongside a new careers strategy for young people will enable more young people to understand the opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Calls for additional investment were made on the back of EngineeringUK’s report Securing the future: careers provision in schools and colleges in England, which was published a year ago and highlighted the impact a lack of funding has on schools’ ability to deliver STEM careers provision.  The report was based on insight gathered from careers leaders who responded to an EngineeringUK 2021 survey.

Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said: “Without quality careers information and guidance, students will be unable to reap the full benefit of their education by choosing the best pathways, and indeed, careers that will fulfil them and meet the needs of the nation.

“Improving young people’s knowledge of the variety of roles available in engineering, and the pay they could expect (which they typically under-estimate) is key to attracting more young people from more diverse backgrounds into engineering and technology.”

Both ‘Securing the future‘ and ‘Paving the way‘, a recent report from the Sutton Trust, argue that a new national careers strategy with more funding behind it would support the drive to build back better and ‘level up’ across the UK in a post-Covid world. 

James Turner, Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust, said: “We know that those from better off homes often have support from family and friends who have the confidence, knowledge and networks to help them with successful transitions into further education and work. For poorer young people, who are less likely to have such support, the information, advice and guidance provided by schools, colleges and the wider system is absolutely crucial in ensuring they make the most of their talents and aspirations.”

He adds: “Low social mobility also has a cost – not only socially around unfairness and inequality, but also in the hard economic terms of failing to harness the talents of all sections of society.  The term ‘social mobility’ is common-place now and the rallying cry of ‘levelling up’ is gathering momentum. 

“Ensuring all young people can access independent, high-quality advice on their next steps has to be the underpinning of any efforts to level-up and spread opportunity.  Both common-sense and the evidence base is clear on that.”

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