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Ninety per cent of 14 and 15 year olds know little or nothing about careers in engineering and technology, a study by Europe’s largest professional society for engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), has revealed.

Engineering also features outside the top ten career choices among the same age group; ranking behind hotel management. The top three are: lawyer in first place, teacher in second and professional sportsperson in third.

The results come from the first IET STEM research study and coincide with the launch of the new IET Faraday, the flagship STEM education programme for every secondary school pupil in the UK.

Jan Stapleton, head of Education 5-19, IET said: “I really expected the results to show young people had an increasingly positive view towards STEM subjects and the careers they can lead to. However, the first wave of results has shown that this is simply not the case despite the many activities and initiatives in this area in recent years. This is one of key issues highlighted in the recent Sainsbury review into the UK science and innovation system.”

She continued: “There is no magic solution to this problem; we must look at all our activities and initiatives to see if they are really making an impact with our pupils. Engineering brings wealth creation to the economy and it is imperative that the UK attracts more young people into engineering and technology to tackle the growing skills shortage.”

More than 700 pupils in years nine and ten from a selection of schools in England were surveyed and focus groups were held with pupils, teachers and educationalists. The primary objective of this research was to assess each group’s needs and requirements to help improve interest and uptake. This research is the beginning of a longitudinal study which will track the same cohort of pupils to assess changes in behaviour and attitude towards STEM subjects.


For media enquiries please contact:

Sian Weaver
Media and PR
T: 020 7344 5443
M: 07725 498 116

Notes to editors:

The summary report findings will be announced at the IET Faraday 08 launch on Thursday 11 October between 12pm and 3pm (speeches and launch scheduled for 1pm to 1.30pm), the IET, Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL. Press are welcome to attend but must register by calling Sian Weaver, Media and PR officer on 020 7344 5443 or mobile 07725 498 116.


The study was commissioned by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and prepared by The Trading Edge Co.
The summary report can be requested from the Media and PR office in PDF. The full report will be made available online from November 07 at

The Institution of Engineering and Technology

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. The IET has more than 150,000 members in 127 countries and has offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. The Institution provides a global knowledge network to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas and promotes the positive role of Science, Engineering and Technology in the world.

For more information visit

The Education 5-19 team

The IET runs an education service aimed at supporting teachers of science and technology and provides a range of curriculum support, resources and information for schools.

For more information visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Institute of Engineering & Technolgy in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, Manufacturing, Engineering & Energy, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit