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Chris Claydon, CEO of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) shares his thoughts on the importance of promoting engineering construction careers to the next generation.

“You can’t be what you don’t see” is a simple sentence that encapsulates the challenge we face in attracting young people to careers in engineering construction. A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that too often consideration is only given to the jobs that are already familiar. This should not come as a surprise but rather as a warning to industry: we need to do better at promoting the exciting career paths we have to offer. Chris Claydon ECITB

People that work in engineering construction design, test, install, repair and decommission industrial facilities that keep the lights on, put food on the table and keep the water flowing. They work on superstructures ranging from wind farms to nuclear power stations and are helping to tackle climate change by designing and installing new energy solutions and reducing the carbon emissions of heavy industry.

Sounds important and exciting? Yet, not many people know about these career opportunities and what these rewarding and vital roles entail.

So, what can employers and organisations like the ECITB do to increase awareness of our sector and make it appealing to those about to make key decisions on their future careers? By working with organisations like The Careers & Enterprise Company we want to promote the excellent career paths available to young people across England. Together, we can link schools and colleges to employers and help them deliver world-class careers support for all young people. Our aim is to challenge existing stereotypes and raise awareness of engineering construction, so that more young people choose to enter this vibrant and exciting industry.

This month, during Tomorrow’s Engineers week, the ECITB and The Careers & Enterprise Company will sign a partnership agreement to formalise our commitment to prepare and inspire young people for the fast-changing world of work. We will promote initiatives such as Give an Hour, Cornerstone Employers and the Enterprise Adviser role to our audiences and encourage them to get involved. We are also working with other organisations, such as Engineering UK to promote careers in our industry. Lynda Armstrong OBE, who became Chair of the ECITB after a 35-year career working in oil and gas exploration, engineering and production, has pledged to support this partnership and share her experiences. These are small but important steps to making the unfamiliar become familiar.  

We all have to do our part, and I’m delighted that the ECITB and The Careers & Enterprise Company are joining forces to bring the world of engineering construction to the next generation.