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.
What is The Code and who is it for?
The Code is a commitment by organisations to work toward common goals to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering careers. Any organisation with UK operations that funds, designs and/or delivers engineering-inspiration activities or intends to is invited to become a Signatory.
Signatories make 4 pledges about their approach to funding, designing, delivering, and learning from engineering- inspiration activities (including STEM programmes dedicated to inspiring young people into engineering).
Code Signatories are also expected to sign up to Code Connect in order to increase collaboration across the sector.
The Code is made up of engineering firms (FTSE 100 through to SMEs), professional bodies, subject associations, universities, museums, delivery partners and more.
There are no costs associated with becoming a member of this community, and any organisation not meeting the criteria above can join as a Supporter.
Schools can join as Supporters of The Code.
Why do we need The Code?
The engineering workforce could and should be much more diverse, for example:
- Women make up just 16.5% of the engineering workforce
- 37% of Black engineering graduates are working in engineering 6 months after graduation, compared to 41% of Asian origin and 60% of white
- 9% of engineering and technology students are disabled, compared with the average of 14%
Engineering and technology provide a varied, stimulating, and valuable careers. We need to work harder than ever to ensure that engineering is accessible for this generation of young people, for their own life chances and for a diverse and insightful workforce that enables the UK to thrive.
Many organisations are already doing important work but together, via The Code, we can deliver a joined-up approach to drive change at scale.
Who designed The Code?
From a roundtable, from the 2018 Year of Engineering and with recommendations in the Perkins Review Revisited 2019, a code of practice was proposed to maximise the impact of engineering inspiration activities both individually and collectively.
What is now known as the Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Code was developed over seven co-creation workshops held in Aberdeen, London, and Manchester. It was drafted in the knowledge that it would need to be flexible to support organisations both big and small, including SMEs, corporates, engineering institutions and more, and also organisations at different stages of developing their engagement programmes.
In autumn 2019 organisations were invited to share their views on a draft version of The Code. Following this, the draft which was finalised based on feedback from over 100 organisations.
In summer 2022 a working group of Signatories came together to assist in the design of Code Connect, an online platform to showcase Code Signatory's work and to assist the Code Community to start making effective collaborations. Code Connect was launched in autumn 2022.
What are Signatories committing to?
As a Signatory of The Code you commit that you will work collaboratively to increase the number and diversity of young people entering engineering.
As such, you make 4 pledges about your approach to funding, designing, delivering, and learning from engineering-inspiration activities (including STEM programmes dedicated to inspiring young people into engineering).
You also agree to:
- Be guided by the Tomorrow's Engineers Code to drive continuous improvement
- Be an ambassador for the Tomorrow's Engineers Code and actively contribute to the community of Signatories
- Complete the annual Code check-in
- Provide information on the engineering activities that your organisation delivers or funds, enabling you to link up with others via Code Connect
- Reconfirm the commitment every 2 years
What are the benefits of becoming a Signatory?
When joining The Code you'll get access to resources to help you start delivering engineering outreach to young people or to start changing your approach, such as:
- A team at EngineeringUK to help you understand The Code and how to start meeting the pledges
- Access to Tomorrow’s Engineers, which has guidance and information from across the STEM community on how to get the most from engineering engagement activity
- Regular drop-ins with the Code team and other Signatories
- Online workshops on topics to help you meet the pledges of The Code and meet other likeminded organisations
- Over 250 Signatories and Supporters from whom your organisation can learn from, share ideas with and access practical advice through Code Connect
What are Supporters committing to?
Organisations that don’t meet the criteria to become a Signatory can become a Supporter. As a Supporter you will not sign up to the pledges of The Code, but your organisation will commit to play an active part in The Code e.g. contributing to events where applicable and sharing knowledge/good practice.
What are the benefits of becoming a Supporter?
As a Supporter you will become part of a community working to address one of the engineering sector's most challenging issues. You will be invited to events to share and hear from others about the latest insights and best-practice. Being a Supporter is also a public demonstration about how your organisation values the power of working together.
What inspiration activities does The Code cover?
The Code only relates to engineering and technology inspiration activities which include:
- Events, fairs, campaigns, mentoring, teacher Continuing Professional Development, role models/speakers, volunteers, hands-on activities, competitions, projects, student clubs, visits – basically any activity that aims to increase the number of young people progressing towards a career in engineering.
- STEM activity that seeks to encourage more people to pursue careers in engineering and/or technology. This means it does not, for example, include STEM activities simply dedicated to maths.
What are the data/reporting requirements?
The sign-up process requires you to provide details of the senior individual accountable for your organisation meeting The Code commitments and the individual responsible (these can be the same person) for ensuring your organisation delivers against The Code pledges. We also ask that you provide information about the engineering outreach activities that you deliver or fund. This allows Signatories to search, find and connect with others via Code Connect.
The Code is about changing behaviours, not about policing what organisations are doing. It is about providing support and insight to drive continuous improvement. We do ask that Signatories complete the annual Code check-in so we can understand how we can support you with meeting the pledges.
Organisations will need to re-confirm they are committed to funding, designing, and/or delivering activity in alignment with The Code every 2 years.
Will I need to deliver activities/programmes with other Signatories?
No, but it might be something you consider. A more joined-up way of working will enable collaboration, and refinement of some activity as visibility of programmes increases amongst members of The Code. If you would like to find other Signatories to collaborate with on programmes, you can use Code Connect.
How is The Code managed?
Co-created by and for the engineering community, The Code remains ‘owned’ by its Signatories and Supporters.
An Advisory Board and informal Thinking Group support EngineeringUK, which has been chosen to manage and deliver The Code and its community. EngineeringUK will facilitate the governance of The Code and is committed to a formal biennial review of how Signatories are meeting the pledges.
The 100+ co-creators, with support from partners Anglo American, the Department for Education, EngineeringUK, Network Rail and Shell, made the launch and subsequent delivery of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code possible.