Connecting Young People To Engineering


IET (Photo credit: Charles Mok)

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well,

but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”

Vaclav Havel (1936 – 2011) Czech Playwright, Essayist, Poet, Dissident and Politician

Adapted from a blog post I wrote for the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) My Community as a Member (MIET):

We need more young people to take up engineering related courses at a young age. The definition of young people for the purpose of this blog is young people aged 11-25.

This is very different to our (The IET) Young Professionals (YPs) forum/network/group that defines, “YPs are members in the early stages of their career, up to ten years after graduation, and are the future of the organisation.”

How can we introduce young people to engineering and increase take up of engineering related courses?

  • The IET urges school leavers to consider apprenticeships, now I am no expert on apprenticeships but maybe the IET/Local Networks(LNs) can start getting involved (maybe the IET is already involved) with organisations and helping them establish such apprenticeships.
  • IET launched a £1m scholarship fund (The IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship) recently & I think if all members started to inform their local schools/colleges (or children’s schools/colleges), momentum and traction towards the scholarship and engineering in general could be attained.
  • The IET could perhaps launch a Young Peoples forum/network/group for 11-25 year olds in local areas, akin to LNs (or indeed under the auspices of LNs) where local children aged 11-25 arranged their own events with local mentoring provided by perhaps LNs.
  • Young people are born in the digital age and have a good idea of what they want from the future and have innovative ideas, e.g. controlling daily household appliances using the mind. (See next two bullet points)
  • The IET need representation from young people (11-25) on the board of trustees. A good example is the National Children’s Bureau (NCB)
  • The NCB also has a membership board advisory group that also has representation by young people.

Case studies:

  • A young entrepreneur’s story – Matt Wilson, CEng, FIET (No route to join professional body as a young person) “I joined IET in 2007 because I wanted to be part of an important institution that is not solely academic. The IET is made up of engineers, real people with hands on experience in engineering. Becoming a Fellow helped me to further my career and become involved in committees whose policies affect the engineering industry. This commands a lot of respect. My customers also recognise the quality of my work because I have achieved Fellow status.’ Matt

Read more:

Do you have any ideas?

Please do comment/introduce your ideas.

Let’s start the chain reaction and get young people studying engineering/technology again…..