Information for Schools

Tools for Career Advisors 

Finding the Right Course

At the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology, we’re working with our schools and colleges across the region to clearly clarify the correct pathway to achieving the higher level skills needed for a career in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. 

“Knowledge of engineering among young people remains limited and often distorted by negative perceptions and gendered stereotypes of who can be an engineer. These perceptions can be detrimental for young people, especially those underrepresented in the sector, who do not see engineering as an option that is open to them.”

On this page, you’ll find helpful tips and resources for helping your students find the right course for them. We’ll can support you in advising prospective STEM students, using the principles recommended by Engineering UK: 

  • We facilitate employer encounters and on-the-job experience within the world of STEM work, whilst challenging typical perceptions of the field and gender stereotypes, 
  • We tailor careers information to each individual student and introduce them to potential STEM employers,
  • We provide training and support for parents, carers and teachers.
  • We make STEM-based careers accessible for anyone interested in one, no matter their background. 

“There is a clear link between knowledge of engineering and the extent to which young people would consider a career in the profession. Young people who know a lot about engineering are far more likely to consider it as a possible job”

Talking to Your Students About STEM Careers 

“STEM careers activities play an important role in improving knowledge of engineering, with participation in such initiatives found to increase the chances of considering a career in the sector.”

STEM based careers are often in fields young people know little about, or they may have a negative or distorted perception of ‘who can be’ an engineer. We want to challenge those stereotypes and make these careers accessible to all walks of life. 

You can read more about this in Engineering UK’s recent report on the subject, some of which we’ve highlighted below. 

Find the Right Placement

Here, you can find out about the different types of placement we offer and the benefits they have for your students. 

Industry Placements 

These are longer term placements of around 45 to 60 days, or 315+ hours. They are a compulsory component of the new T Level courses, which offer a technical alternative to A Levels. They are unpaid but offer great education to potential new talent. Benefits of this type of placement include: 

  • A detailed and focused career experience for your student, which will help them assess their suitability to the chosen role, 
  • A hands-on evaluation process with an employer, who will help manage your students’ expectations of the role and assess their progress, 
  • The potential for your students to make industry contacts and build business relationships, whilst proving themselves as new talent.
  • The opportunity for new student talent to provide their fresh perspective with existing workforces.  

Work Experience 

A shorter placement, usually around 30 hours, or 5 days. 

These placements may be shorter, but still give students great first-hand exposure to the career they are interested in. It enables them to carry out the kinds of tasks they would undertake day-to-day in a chosen career and offers the flexibility to learn new skills quickly. 

Much like an industry placement, Work Experience also provides students with the opportunity to work with and learn from potential future colleagues. 

Helpful Tips & Resources:
STEM Learning
STEM Learning is the UK’s largest provider of education and careers support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
My Skills, My Life
My Skills My Life is a tried and tested outreach resource created by WISE to inspire girls aged 11-19 to consider a career in STEM. It allows girls to find out about their preferred personality types and matches them with role models who have rewarding and successful careers in STEM.
Engineering Development Trust
EDT provides over 40,000 experiences for young people across the UK each year, by working with EDT your school/college and teachers with receive measurable benefits.
Smallpeice Trust
Brilliant beginnings. The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr. Cosby D P Smallpeice — a brilliant engineer who invented the Smallpeice Lathe.
The Engineer
Careers in engineering – A beginner’s guide
Writer and STEM ambassador Sarah Anderson takes a look at the basics of engineering, the variety involved in the sector, and the first steps required to embark on a career in engineering.
Tomorrow’s Engineers
Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers – Information and guidance to support improved practice.
National Careers Service
We provide information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.
World Skills UK
Browse over 40 different career routes across multiple sectors and hear from our inspiring role models with industry.