The engineering industry is always looking to advance, and one of the main ways to bring new ideas and processes is to hire younger generations.
As we evolve as a society, our needs are constantly changing, and there’s no better indication of where we need to improve or expand on than taking in young people who are interested in the future of the planet.
2017 should be the year that more engineering and manufacturing businesses invest in these young minds. There have previously been concerns that there aren’t enough young people interested in these industries, so what can we do to inspire people to undertake an engineering or manufacturing based career?
Engineering is Expanding
As the economic climate is still not as stable as we’d like it to be, it’s understandable that some young people may be sceptical of joining an industry that relies heavily on innovation and future thinking.
However, rather than being at risk of jobs being cut, it is expected that the engineering sector is actually set to grow exponentially over the next few years, with 2.5 million jobs expected to be created before 2022.
University Isn’t the Only Path In
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to go to university to get into engineering. In fact going to university is a very costly option. Tuition fees can mount up to over £27,000 for three years and, if the student is not living at home, the costs can be over double. This amount is a lot of debt to carry into your working life.
Apprenticeships can be an excellent alternative to university, which enables you to get a hands-on experience in your chosen industry while learning from some of the best engineering and manufacturing minds and depending on the route chosen you can end up with a degree and no debt.
Offer Careers Advice
For many school leavers, it can be difficult to know what they want to do with their lives in the long run and careers advice is not as straight forward as it once was. Usually advice is given by schools themselves rather than an independent organisation and schools rely on funding; the more students they have, the more they receive so, naturally, there is an incentive to keep good students in school which might not be in the best interest of the student.
Rather than reading about careers in the industry, it’s important for students to get a real feel for what it is like to work in engineering from people who have experienced it. Airedale Springs works closly with schools and the local college in arranging visits or work placements.
This is a good way to help students make a decision as to what sector they want to be a part of – they will likely have questions that someone in that particular position can answer, which will help them decide what they really want to do. This is essential for students, as many may make the wrong choice based on what they think the career could offer them, but with an expert insight, it may help them make a better decision right off the bat.
As technology is advancing and more young people are relying on it to go about their daily lives, some engineers have utilised the fact that technology is the key to engaging the younger generations.
Through creating interactive games which require the player to utilise skills which would be useful in engineering, it is hoped that more young people become interested in the engineering sector from a younger age.
Even games such as Minecraft require a technical thought process, creating different objects and structures which will need a keen eye for detail to ensure that they succeed. What’s more, a child won’t even realise that they’re using these skills until they are older, when they can put into practice the knowledge that they’ve gained through playing a simple game in an engineering or manufacturing position.
It’s Not As Repetitive As It Seems
One of the main reasons that younger generations are put off joining such technical industries like manufacturing and engineering is that they believe that the work that they would be undertaking would be boring and repetitive.
However, with a lot of innovation consistently occurring in the industry, it’s important to remember that there’s not one single way to complete a task, and engineers and manufacturers are constantly looking for more efficient ways to work.
In both industries, employees are encouraged to share their ideas, meaning that no two days should be expected to be the same!
Here at Airedale Springs, we love teaching young people about our industry, and we’ve even got our own apprenticeship scheme to help get more young people involved with engineering and manufacturing for the future!
If you’d like to find out more about our apprenticeships, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – we’ll be more than happy to help you!