A-STEP 2030: Attracting diverSe Talent to the Engineering Professions of 2030
Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash

A-STEP 2030: Attracting diverSe Talent to the Engineering Professions of 2030

In the framework of the A-STEP 2030 project we will address the following questions:
-> What are the future engineering skills and competencies required to enable a successful and sustainable European society, inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
-> What are the intrinsic values and the drivers for young people, students and adult learners and how does this influence their future career choices or goals? Which identified skills and competencies align with the values of the potential talent pipe-line?

The engineering profession has always had a central role in society’s progress. Today, we  approach the fourth industrial revolution and with the associated disruptive technological changes, the role of the engineer becomes more critical than ever. In the past, the work of engineers significantly improved the quality of life of large populations through advances in technology and new innovations by impro-ving healthcare, housing, nutrition, education, transport and communication.  

Those challenges still exist as our population grows and our planet and ecosystems must cope  with  an  ever-increasing,  energy-consuming  population. Society  needs  engineers who are adequately trained with the knowledge and skills to provide a se-cure, sustainable and successful Europe.

These recent changes have had a significant impact on the employment market: all  over  in  Europe there is a growing  demand for Engineers and many  associated  occupations.

There  are  challenging  and  rewarding  work  opportunities  in  a  wide  range of domains which can help find solutions to global challenges for the benefit of all society. Job opportunities cover almost all areas of human interest from bio-technology and medical devices to water supply, infrastructure development and sustainable energy. Why therefore, despite these diverse career options and good salary prospects, not more young people choosing engineering as a career?We  consider  that  many  young  people  discount  an  engineering  career  because  engineering  degree  studies  are  considered  intellectually  challenging  and  difficult to  attain.    

The  engineering  student  body  suffers  from  a  lack  of  diversity  because  young people from diverse backgrounds are wary of joining a degree course which is considered difficult to follow and accomplish.  The issue of lack of diversity is further compounded  when  the  student  body  becomes  a  homogenous  group,  making  it  more difficult for a diverse student to see themselves fitting in.  We need to ask there-fore; how do we make the engineering profession and the engineering educational experience more attractive to encourage all young people to be enthused about a career in engineering.