“Careers advice matters more for engineering than many other subjects. Our research shows that unless students come from an engineering heritage background, they are unlikely to know about it.
“We strongly believe that high quality career guidance is the engine of social mobility. The UK has a particular challenge in that 50% of an individual’s lifetime earnings can be explained by their parents’ earnings. It’s 15% in Denmark.
“We support the adoption of Sir John Holman’s Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks, but have real concerns that the original PwC costings (£207 million in the first year and £173 million per year thereafter) will not be met – and that we will end up with a new bureaucracy and little cultural change.
“It is not sufficient simply ‘to allow providers of technical education access to pupils’. Cultural prejudices against technical education are so deeply ingrained in our society. If we are serious about developing a parity between academic and vocational learning, then we need to align careers advice much more closely with the day-to-day learning experience in schools.
“We know that one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways of achieving careers-readiness for young people is through teacher placements in industry. This is why the Institution developed and funds a STEM Insight scheme, in which secondary teachers spend five or ten days in industry. STEM Insight is predicated on the fact that teachers are among the most powerful influencers of careers decision-making.”