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Engineering your future career

What is involved in an engineering career, anyway? A career in engineering can take you into the automotive, aerospace, and marine industries and more. So it’s not all about blue overalls and working on a factory floor, although it can be if that is what appeals to you.

Engineering is the backbone of British industry – it’s where it all begins yet, for many young people, it is not a career that is considered as it’s simply not seen! An apprenticeship in engineering will develop you in many ways. You will learn both technical and practical skills alongside attending college one day a week. You will gain recognised national qualifications such as an NVQ and – for some higher programmes – a degree too.

Semta – the Sector Skills Council for UK advanced manufacturing and engineering is responsible for 132,000 companies and a workforce of 1.7 million – engineering is big business!

Engineering also encompasses so many roles. You may find yourself working in:

•  Design engineering          •  Pattern making

•  A laboratory                      •  Quality control and testing

•  Project management        •  CNC machining

…the list just goes on and on – the possibilities are endless.

Industry is ever-changing as new technologies, materials, processes and techniques are developed. With more innovations on the horizon, now is an exciting time to embark on a career in engineering and there’s still demand for the more traditional and basic skills.

Choosing a career in engineering or manufacturing will give you skills and knowledge that are highly valued and transferable between employers. Many businesses have skills shortages or skills gaps and are recruiting people to fill them right now. So what have you got to lose? 

As an engineer you can work for a big international brand or your local manufacturing company. Semta works with big major companies such as: BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Sheffield Forgemasters Intl. and TATA to name but a few, as well as many smaller or medium sized companies.

And, it’s not just “jobs for the boys”. Many more girls are now entering the world of engineering. In fact, one of the big winners of 2012 was Bethan Sherbourne, who was named the Higher Apprentice of the Year in the National Apprenticeship Awards. At 22 years old Bethan is the procurement officer with MBDA running a budget of £10 million, having been sponsored through her higher education by MBDA.

So, if you like being active, like learning new skills, are practical and enjoy creating things – maybe engineering is the future career for you.

To find our more please visit: or where you can read many more case studies and see lots of videos of young people sharing their experiences.

Whichever path you choose – engineering your future has never been more exciting…

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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