When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Structural Engineer
Did you always want to be a structural engineer when you grew up? Here Kat Jefferies shares how young people are being encouraged into engineering today.
Much has been written on the subject of encouraging more people into engineering (civil and structural). Initiatives to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in schools are going some of the way, but what about starting even earlier?
Traditionally young children have role played being police officers, train drivers, vets and builders, but not many pre-schoolers talk about becoming structural engineers! Until now perhaps…
If you’ve got young children who watch Nickelodeon Junior they may have come across Blaze and the Monster Machines, a show that’s supporting STEM learning by introducing different concepts to young viewers each episode. My youngest loves it and although we haven’t had any in depth conversations about applied mechanics yet, I’m sure this TV show is quietly sowing the seeds of interest.
However, while all of us at Energi People are hugely supportive of any show that puts structural engineering jobs in the spotlight, that’s not the main reason I’m writing this blog post!
No, it’s because of the unofficial theme song for structural engineers, first heard on Blaze and the Machines! If you’re a structural engineer click on the play button below and I can guarantee this earworm will be with you for the rest of the day…
Skills Shortages In Structural Engineering Today
While this is just a bit of fun, although the intentions behind the TV show are great and long overdue, we can’t ignore the fact that there’s an engineering skills shortage in the UK. In fact there’s estimated to be an annual shortfall of 20,000 engineers across industry (construction, manufacturing, medical, IT etc.).
While businesses can lobby government to improve STEM subject teaching in schools, and to ensure that educators are up to speed with the skills needed by our businesses, nurturing the talent within our companies is also very important.
We need to become engineering ambassadors by promoting the opportunities and benefits of a career in structural engineering, rewarding engineers appropriately, providing training and development, and also offering the next generation opportunities too. Even small construction engineering firms can potentially offer a school student work experience, or a college student work placements.
Apprenticeships are also a great way to get more people into engineering, and are at their highest rate of uptake in 10 years. I would also encourage any company that has youthful engineers – who GCSE students will relate to – to offer local schools the chance to meet them. Talking about your role and the opportunities and rewards of a structural engineering job is a great way of inspiring school students and encouraging them to explore engineering as a career option.
If you’ve already made that decision and are working in structural engineering, we have a number of job opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Explore our structural engineering jobs here, or get in touch with the team to discuss your requirements.