We’ve pulled together some information to cover any FAQs you might have about the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code.

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.

1. What is the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code (The Code)?

Join The Code: a community of diverse organisations, large and small, all dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of young people into engineering through STEM outreach. The Code is a growing, collaborative community where members learn from one another, share best practice and commit to four pledges that inspire young people to pursue engineering.

The Code is supported by professional bodies, universities, schools and more.

If your UK-based business funds, designs or delivers engineering-inspiration activities (or plans to do so) sign up for free as a Signatory today.

2. Who is The Code for?

Great news: if you’re an organisation who funds, designs or delivers engineering outreach activities for young people then The Code is for you.

The Code comprises organisations of all types and sizes at different stages in their STEM outreach journey. The Code gives businesses a framework to improve their activities. For SMEs, The Code is the perfect place to start thinking about how to shape your STEM activities via free resources on engineering outreach. Lots of diverse organisations are doing great work in this area.

All members get access like-minded organisations through Code Connect.

3. Why should my organisation become a Code member?

It’s free to get involved, but there are so many more benefits to joining The Code. Here are just a few:

  • Support from EngineeringUK to help you understand The Code and how to start meeting the 4 pledges. You’ll complete an annual survey with EngineeringUK, to see how you’re working towards the 4 pledges
  • Access to Code Connect to share with, learn from and be inspired by other Code members. There are currently more than 250 organisations involved
  • Connect and learn: networking conferences, webinars, drop ins, newsletters and social media
  • A platform to showcase your outreach work – share your struggles, your learnings and your successes to support others
  • Free case studies, resources and tools that help deliver engineering outreach to young people
  • Use of The Code logo

Contact us to discover how The Code can help your organisation. You’ve got nothing to lose.

4. What are the 4 pledges?

The Code’s 4 pledges have been designed to help organisations shape their engagement strategy. They are:

  1. Inspiring connection: Ensure programmes contribute to a sustained and rich STEM journey for all young people.
  2. Driving inclusion: Ensure all young people have opportunities to engage in engineering-inspiration activities and no one is left behind.
  3. Showcasing engineering: Promote a positive, compelling, and authentic view of engineering, showcasing the breadth of opportunities.
  4. Improving impact: Improve monitoring and evaluation of programmes and activities to develop a shared understanding of what works.

Resources have been created to help everyone meet the 4 pledges.

5. What do we mean by ‘outreach programmes and engagement’? And what qualifies?

Providing opportunities for young people to take experience the world of engineering and technology is crucial to inspiring the next generation. We want our signatory members to deliver initiatives that take real life STEM experiences and expertise directly to schools.

Outreach doesn't have to involve a huge event or grand plan. Smaller activities can but just as engaging. Career presentations, hands on workshops or demonstrations, Q&A events, work experience places, downloadable resources, competitions, 1:1 coaching, video case studies and more all count as outreach. The goal is to make STEM, with a focus on engineering and technology, accessible and exciting.

Outreach programmes can take place virtually or face to face in the educational setting or within your organisation, and even if you just fund activities, this also counts.

EngineeringUK have put together a guide full of top tips and information to help you plan and deliver outreach, even if you've not run these activities before.

6. What’s expected of Code Signatories?

Code members make a collective commitment to increase the number and diversity of young people pursuing engineering careers. Organisations make 4 pledges to deliver efforts for young people such as events, campaigns, mentoring, teacher development, role models, hands-on activities and more.

In addition, signatories should strive to continuously improve their initiatives. Organisations are encouraged to share their engineering outreach activities and facilitate connections through Code Connect. Every member has a Code check-in, an annual survey to capture member’s insights into how we’re working to meet the 4 pledges feed into how to make the community even better. We expect members to be ambassadors for The Code, actively contributing to the community.

The beauty of The Code lies in its flexible and supportive nature. It doesn’t police organisations but empowers collaboration, knowledge sharing and collective impact. Signatories aren’t expected to immediately meet all the pledges but are encouraged to demonstrate their willingness to work towards them. The Code aligns with work organisations are already doing, making it a high-reward initiative.

7. What’s Code Connect?

Code Connect is an exclusive platform designed for members of The Code. It’s a networking hub, connecting organisations committed to inspiring young people to pursue careers in engineering. Think of it as an engineering version of LinkedIn that goes above and beyond networking.

Within Code Connect, members can collaborate with like-minded organisations. We want Code Connect to foster a sense of community and open opportunities; that it is THE platform showcasing the power of collective knowledge and experience, so members can tap into the diverse expertise of others. If you need help, Code Connect will be there to make life easier for you.

8. Why should my organisation use Code Connect?

Here are some main reasons why organisations use Code Connect:

  • Direct access to a growing community: reach out to any member of The Code community. You may have a specific request, need help or want to collaborate. Code Connect is a convenient way to learn from a community who share your commitment to The Code
  • Showcase your work: You may have a story to tell or a resource to share. The platform can amplify the impact of your engineering-inspiration activities. Other organisations get inspired or explore collaboration opportunities
  • Follow-up after events: an excellent tool to follow up with other members after events such as Tomorrow's Engineers Live, webinars and drop ins. Continue conversations, share insights and build on your knowledge for more meaningful and productive collaborations.

9. What’s the difference between Signatories and Supporters?

Unlike Signatories, Supporters don’t sign up to the 4 pledges. Organisations that don’t meet the criteria to become a Signatory can become a Supporter. Supporters commit to playing an active part through raising awareness of The Code and its mission, as well as contributing to events, sharing knowledge and best practice. Being a Supporter is a public demonstration of how your organisation values the power of working together. Supporters are typically organisations who want to shout about The Code and its potential to their networks or members.

10. Can I run outreach activities with other organisations?

In short, yes! Joining forces could be a great way to amplify your reach, access new audiences and share expertise. Collaboration is a great way for Supporters to help Signatories.

Use Code Connect to find your perfect match.

11. My business is working hard in these areas but we’re not meeting all the requirements of the 4 pledges. Can we still get involved?

Signatories aren’t expected to immediately meet all the pledges but are encouraged to demonstrate a willingness to work towards them. Signatories aren't required to meet all the pledges immediately; instead, they're encouraged to show their commitment to working towards them. If your organisation is involved in engineering and technology career activities and is dedicated to improving in the pledge areas, you can join The Code. If you're unsure or wish to speak to someone on the team, please get in contact.

12. How many organisations are signed up to The Code?

There are now more than 300 members. Organisations range from small businesses to large corporations; engineering academia as well as professional engineering institutions. See the growing list of Supporters and Signatories.

13. What kind of resources are available?

Every Code member gets access to everything they need to meet the pledges and support The Code’s ambition. These include:  

  • Guides – for example, help with the 4 pledges
  • Case studies from members such as SSE and Aldermans Tooling
  • Advice from organisations like BAE Systems on subjects such as EDI
  • Third party papers and resources on subjects such as T Levels
  • Image library – to help make your outreach appealing and diverse
  • Reading lists from expert sources like UCL
  • A rich archive of previous webinars, posters and more!

A comprehensive list of all resources can be found here as well as on Neon, a platform for teachers and young people including careers resources.

14. Why do we need The Code?

Engineering and technology provide varied, stimulating and valuable career options. We need to work harder than ever to ensure engineering is accessible for young people, for their own life chances and for a diverse workforce that enables the UK to thrive. 

There hasn't been a significant increase in the number of young people choosing engineering careers. This is a concern, given the substantial skills gap in the sector. There's also a noticeable lack of diversity in engineering, where women, people of colour and people with disabilities are under-represented.

The Code exists to address challenges facing the engineering sector that can't be solved by a single organisation. Numerous activities aimed at inspiring young people to pursue engineering careers exist, but there's a lack of coordination. The Code fills the gap, bringing together a diverse range of organisations under one framework.

The Code believes in reaching young people through many touchpoints from an early age. Together, Code members are able to drive meaningful change on a larger scale.

15. How did The Code come to exist?

There was a real need to maximise the engineering inspiration activities and their impact. The origins of The Code can be traced back to several key milestones:

  • The Year of Engineering 2018: The idea for The Code was born during roundtable discussions, and it gained momentum in the context of the Year of Engineering. Discussions highlighted the importance of a code of practice to enhance the effectiveness of engineering outreach, both on an individual and collective level.
  • The Perkins Review Revisited 2019: The review recommended the development of a code of practice to guide organisations involved in engineering outreach.
  • Co-creation workshops: The Code developed over a series of 7 workshops held in Aberdeen, London and Manchester. A diverse group of stakeholders and organisations got involved. They designed a proposition that needed to accommodate organisations of all sizes, including SMEs, corporates and engineering institutions, all of whom have a critical role to play, but may be at various stages of developing their engagement programmes.
  • Input from more than 100 organisations: In 2019, organisations gave their input on a draft version of The Code. This feedback played a crucial role in shaping the final version of The Code, ensuring that it resonated with the needs of the engineering community.
  • Development of Code Connect: In 2022, a working group of Signatories collaborated to design Code Connect, an online platform aimed at showcasing the work of Code Signatories and facilitating effective collaborations within the Code community.

16. Who owns The Code?

EngineeringUK manage The Code on behalf of the community, ensuring its smooth operation and growth. The Code is considered a community-owned initiative, overseen by an Advisory Board and a Thinking Group, both who provide direction and guidance.

17. How is The Code funded?

The Code needs funding to thrive and survive, and is currently funded by Shell, Network Rail and EngineeringUK. Contributions from other organisations are welcomed in order to secure the future of The Code. If you’re interested in supporting The Code, contact us.

Become a Signatory – sign up now