Fewer than one in five employers believe that school students are being inspired to take up careers in industry, according to a survey of 500 manufacturing and engineering businesses conducted by EAL.
Just 17% said they thought students were getting a positive impression of the profession in the classroom. Almost 50% said teachers and careers advisers are failing to inspire pupils.
Ann Watson, managing director of EAL, said: “The results show that employers are unconvinced that schools are doing all they can to encourage pupils to take up a career in engineering or manufacturing. The launch of the National Careers Service has made schools responsible for securing independent, impartial careers guidance for pupils, so it’s vital to ensure industry careers are fairly and accurately represented.”
Of those surveyed, 39% said schools should be responsible for encouraging students to take jobs in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. More than 35% said the task should fall to careers advisers.
Watson said that government campaigns, such as Make it in Great Britain, will help to transform misconceptions of modern-day manufacturing. But she added that EAL and training body Semta also have a role to play alongside schools and employers.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of Engineering UK, said the organisation is working with an increasing number of companies that recognise the need for a joined-up approach to encouraging youngsters into the profession.