More than half of parents struggle to help kids engineer their futures, says the IET...

24 July 2019

IET Engineering Open House 2019
IET Engineering Open House 2019

Organised by the IET, Engineering Open House Day aims to combat this by inviting families to learn about STEM careers together first-hand.

Research from the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) shows thatmore than half (54%) of parents feel they would struggle to guide their children to gain more experience in science, technology, engineering &mathematics (STEM) fields. Incentivised by a growing need for people with engineering skills, the IET organises an annual Engineering Open House Day, which sees more than 27 companies and organisations open their doors to showcase careers in engineering and technology. 60 events across the UK will welcome young people and parents on Friday 26th July 2019 as part of Engineering Open House Day.

In good news for the future of engineering, new research shows nearly a quarter (24%) of parents say their children have expressed an interest in engineering as a future career.

However, the research from the IET also shows that almost a third (31%) of parents feel they would struggle to describe what an engineer actually does – despite 95% of parents saying they know what an engineer is.

The survey, of over 2,000 parents of school-aged children, found that in contrast to engineering, parents felt very comfortable with describing what a doctor (94%), teacher (94%) and even a Reality TV Star (81%) does as a profession.

However, a large number of parents (69%) felt that experiencing what happens behind the scenes of an organisation would help them encourage their children to take up a role in an engineering or technology profession.

To help parents better guide their children, the IET is inviting children and parents to visit a number of STEM-related organisations on Friday 26th July as part of Engineering Open House Day 2019.

Held in partnership with a variety of companies to demonstrate the plethora of science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) careers available. 60 events are taking place across the UK aiming to offer further insight forparents and children regarding how to progress into careers in engineering and technology.

IET Open House
IET Open House

Partner organisations this year include The National Theatre, Amazon, Tower Bridge, TFL, Ofcom and Royal Mail, to name a few.

It is well documented that the UK is facing a nationwide STEM skills shortage. 203,000 people with engineering skills will be required each year to meet demand through to 2024, but it’s estimated that there will be an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineering and technicians to fill these roles(according to EngineeringUK's The State of Engineering 2018 report).

By highlighting the important role that engineers play in everyday life, and the creativity and diversity of work in this sector, Engineering Open House Day connects directly with children to inspire and motivate them towards exploring careers in engineering and technology. It also equips and encourages parents to support their kids in nurturing their curiosity.

Through its Engineering Open House Day, the IET seeks to inspire a new generation of engineering and technology enthusiasts. The day forms part of a wider campaign, Engineer a Better World, which aims to support parents and young people in finding out more about modern engineering.

“We are delighted to now be in the fifth year of Engineering Open House Day. Our research shows that engineering is an increasingly popular career aspiration for children, with a quarter (25%) of children saying they would be interested, a 3% rise since 2017. That said, this research demonstrates that there is still a long way to go in terms of parents feeling confident enough to guide their youngsters in the right direction,” said David Lakin, IET Head of Education.

“Engineering Open House Day provides an excellent springboard for children and parents alike to get to grips with the sheer scope of exciting careers encompassed in the field of engineering, and how to get there, first-hand from some of the most innovative brands in the UK.”

For more information and to view the full list of events taking place on the 26th July 2019, please visit:

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