Engineers are creative thinkers who design, create and innovate. They’re behind almost anything you can think of - from your mobile, computer and clothes to medicine, space, national security and renewable energy; they tackle climate change, provide clean drinking water, and ensure sustainable food supplies. Whatever you’re into – whether it’s music or food, space or computer games, there’s a world of exciting opportunities in engineering.

The recently published Engineering UK 2016: The state of engineering report shows that the engineering industry employs more than 5.5 million people. Engineering companies look for tens of thousands of people with engineering skills every year. And there are many ways to get into engineering: an apprenticeship, vocational or academic route. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with studying for vocational qualifications; they may even lead to a degree at university. Prospects for apprentices in engineering, manufacturing and technology are very good, with lifetime earnings one of the highest of all apprenticeship subject areas.

Applying for an apprenticeship is a lot like applying for a job. It’s important to start by listing your interests and asking people who know you well to help you identify your strengths. Vital factors to consider when researching apprenticeships include location, learning methods, pay, level, qualifications awarded and opportunities for progression. Once you complete your apprenticeship it is likely that you will stay with your existing employer and progress from apprentice to professional technician or engineer. The skills and qualifications you achieve during an apprenticeship are transferable and can help you throughout your career.

You can find out more about apprenticeships in engineering, read hundreds of real stories from real people and find your ideal STEM career on the Tomorrow’s Engineers website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk. Tomorrow’s Engineers is a nationwide programme that aims to inspire the next generation of engineers and links local employers with schools, giving students and their teachers the opportunity to learn about the world of engineering.

One of the ways to meet apprentices, graduates, scientists and engineers is at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. Through hands-on activities and interactive shows, The Fair shows young people just how many exciting and rewarding opportunities that are out there and the different routes into them. This year’s Fair is taking place next week (16-19 March) at The NEC in Birmingham and there are lots of Big Bang Near Me Fairs happening across the country throughout the year.

www.thebigbangfair.co.uk