Tomorrow's Engineers Evaluation of Careers Materials

Suzanne Straw, Shona Macleod, Eleanor Stevens, Helen Everett

01 July 2013

This report presents the findings of NFER’s research into the usage, perceptions and impact of the careers materials distributed by the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme and which are designed to help engage pupils and teachers in understanding engineering careers opportunities and the academic and vocational routes into those careers.

This report is primarily based on eleven pupil focus groups (pupils aged 12-15) and nine teacher interviews, based in nine schools across England and Northern Ireland. These consultations included both those who had been involved with a Tomorrow’s Engineers activity and those who had not.

Key Findings

  • Perceptions of the careers materials
    • Pupils and teachers were predominantly positive about the overall package of careers materials and thought that they portrayed a positive, modern impression of engineering and showed that there are opportunities for both boys and girls.
    • Pupils and teachers had mixed views as to the age range to which each element of the careers materials was most suited.
    • Pupils found the careers postcards most useful and appealing, while teachers were most likely to value the themed posters. The engineering careers routes poster and leaflet attracted less enthusiasm from both pupils and teachers.
  • Impact of the careers materials
    • Pupils and teachers agreed that the careers materials helped to broaden pupils’ perceptions of engineering as a sector and some pupils said they had slightly increased their interest in engineering.
    • Some pupils and teachers considered the different types of materials worked well in the current package as each item offered progressively more detailed information about engineering.