We spend a lot of time looking at the most exciting updates from the world of engineering – the new inventions and innovative solutions which are making waves within engineering circles. However, we also like to think about the bigger issues within our industry – and one of those, of course, is the question of who will take up the mantle and ensure that these crucial developments continue into the next generation and beyond.
Luckily, we are constantly seeing evidence that the next generation is full of budding young thinkers who are more than ready to rise to the challenge and pioneer their own advances in engineering. So how do we inspire our children and ensure that this passion is encouraged?
Introduce Construction Toys at Play Time
If you’re looking to start tapping into your children’s engineering spirit from a really young age, you could introduce construction toys into your child’s daily play time. For slightly older children try origami; this can be invaluable when it comes to developing skills of creativity, inventiveness and problem solving. Best of all, it’s incredibly fun, so long as you don’t impose limits on what should or shouldn’t be created. Instead, children who are encouraged to see their imagination as the only boundary will naturally learn to push to make new things possible.
Encourage ‘What If’ and ‘Why’ Questions
Almost every young person loves to fire a relentless barrage of questions at their parents, and many of us are guilty of offering overly simplified answers rather than encouraging them to explore their questions further and even research the answers for themselves.
Young people who are curious about their world can ask some pretty tough questions, and its fine not to know the answers. However, if you decide to treat these occasions as opportunities for shared learning, you’ll encourage them to continue looking for answers about the world – the engineering mindset!
Of course, there’s nothing worse than pushing young people into an occupation which they’re just not interested in; we’re certainly not suggesting that engineering is the only valuable route to take. However, if children have a natural enthusiasm for problem-solving and construction, then encouraging them will definitely help to keep these interests alive.
Increase Awareness of Engineering
A career in engineering can be for anyone if the right practical and problem-solving skills are developed from an early age. If a young person is looking to pursue a career in engineering, it’s critical they aren’t deterred from this, simply because they aren’t seen to be academically achieving the highest grades in their class.
In engineering, employers are always on the look out for young people with the right types of knowledge and skills that can be moulded over time. No one is expecting a young person to possess all the necessary skills straight out of school; as long as there is a foundation to build upon and a willingness to learn, you have every chance of securing your dream job in engineering.
Gaining hands-on experience in engineering is absolutely vital. If a young person is interested in taking up a career in engineering, then apprenticeships are one of the best ways to get into the industry. Not only will you get paid whilst learning, you’ll get real hands-on experience in how engineering works. Whilst learning about how engineering works from the classroom is great, nothing beats learning on the job.
In recent years the amount of apprenticeships within a whole host of industries has increased hugely, as employers are finding it more difficult to hire competent young people in trade sectors. If you prove your worth during your apprenticeship, the company you carried out your training with may well offer you a full-time position upon completion of your training. It’s hardly surprisingly that the number of such apprenticeships are on the rise, with so many talented young people gaining workplace skills that can set them up for life-long careers in their chosen sector.
We’re always looking out for the next great minds who may become the spring manufacturers, engineers or innovators of the future, so it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to share these tips and ensure that young people are being encouraged to question and expand their practical skills.