Manufacturers make school engagement top priority

In partnership with the Careers Enterprise Company, EEF has launched a new guide showing Britain’s manufacturers how to engage with schools effectively to boost the number of talented young people entering the sector as a career.

Some of the UK’s largest companies are also helping schools improve their careers advice provision, working with teachers to show young people all that is on offer in the world of work.

The guide details how some of the UK’s most successful companies bring their expertise into schools offering placements and mentoring schemes, helping to bring to life STEM subjects alongside practical engineering experience.

Workplace visits and job shadowing are also effective tools for aspiration rising as are speaking directly to parents about the opportunities available in manufacturing and engineering. Research has shown that the UK’s mums and dads do not realise that manufacturing is in fact one of the highest paid sectors for new employees but the perception amongst the public is that it is one of the lower paid professions.

Key findings:

  • To meet the Government’s Gatsby Benchmarks, another 4 million employer encounters and a million workplace experiences are needed
  • Yet, CEC research finds that roughly three-quarters of young people still miss out on at least one encounter of any kind with an employer at any  point during secondary school
  • Manufacturers are engaging with schools -7 out of every 10 manufacturer’s offer work experience opportunities for students, and 52% offer workplace visits
  • There is strong level of evidence to show that employer mentoring, enterprise competitions and work-related learning are particularly effective in engaging young people

EEF supports the Year of Engineering, the Government’s cross-government campaign to change the perception of engineering and manufacturing amongst young people, and this guide will serve as a manufacturer’s go-to of how to attract the next generation of creators, innovators and makers that our industry needs.

EEF Education and Skills Policy adviser, Bhavina Bharkhada said: “Effective and consistent engagement with schools is vital if we are boost the number of young people entering the manufacturing industry.

“Manufacturers across the UK are already engaging with schools to help them meet their Gatsby Benchmarks, including offer quality work experience opportunities, placements, school vests and site tours.  However, there is a bigger role that manufacturers can play in improving careers provision and this guide provides top tips on how to do this successfully.

“Using the Careers Enterprise Company work, this guide shows how manufacturing employers can be empowered to effectively engage with schools through mentoring programmes and enterprise competitions in addition to their existing programmes. Importantly, it signposts where employers can go for additional support from the CEC.

“EEF and manufacturers across the country are committed to giving young people the opportunity to explore this great industry. We are therefore calling on manufacturers to pledge their support in engaging with the next generation of creators, innovators and makers though this guide, and for schools to reach out to their local manufacturers.

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