Covid shaping career options and aspirations

New research reveals that almost a third of young people aged 11-19 feel their career options have been affected by the ongoing Covid pandemic.

career options
Photo: Harry Parvin

Published to coincide with the start of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, the survey found that 30 per cent of respondents believed the pandemic had impacted what they could do, while 22 per cent had changed what they wanted to do as a result of the virus and its global impact.

“Engineering, manufacturing and technology provide a breadth of exciting careers that will be at the heart of rebuilding the UK economy post Covid-19,” said Dr Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK. “Many thousands of engineers will be needed in new jobs in infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects to upgrade our hospitals, schools and road network, make public buildings greener and help the UK achieve its aspirations of achieving Net Zero by 2050."

As well as an impact on career options, the research also found that the pandemic was having a negative bearing on formal careers activities, with over three quarters (76 per cent) of 11 to 19 year olds not engaging in the activities since March 2020.

“With young people trying to navigate a post-pandemic, post-Brexit education and training landscape, we believe that now more than ever, they will need support in building their insights into different careers which is why events like Tomorrow’s Engineers Week are so vital,” said Dr Leevers.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week sees engineering institutions, employers and schools coming together to deliver inspiring activity in an effort to show young people the vital importance of engineering careers and deliver advice about how to become an engineer in the future. Activity taking place across the week includes young engineers taking over social media channels and answering questions from young people, as well as The Big Quiz, a 30-minute challenge designed to introduce 11-16-year-olds to engineering.

The Royal Academy of Engineering will also run its annual This is Engineering Day on Wednesday 4 November, celebrating the variety of engineering that helps to shape our world.