Nearly nine out of ten people in the UK trust engineers to tell them the truth, according to new research from Ipsos MORI and the IET.
The profession, which makes up 19 per cent of the UK workforce, was deemed trustworthy by 89 per cent of the population, closely following nurses (93 per cent) and doctors (91 per cent). This marks engineering’s highest placing to date since its inclusion in the Ipsos MORI Veracity Index in 2018.
“As highlighted this year, engineers play a central role in advancing the world around us and finding solutions to global challenges,” said Dr Peter Bannister, biomedical engineer and chair of the IET’s healthcare panel. “The high level of public trust in engineers is a welcome boost and mirrors the level of professionalism and importance of engineers in the UK.
“The Coronavirus outbreak has presented many challenges across the world and has changed life as we know it. Engineers have played a vital role in developing technology and rapid processes to not only keep our infrastructure running but to provide healthcare solutions such as highly efficient ventilators, improve mental health by combatting social isolation, develop remote diagnostics and healthcare tracking apps as well as biomedical engineering which has led to successful vaccine trials.
According to Bannister, the results of the survey make good reading for the future of engineering, with trust for the profession particularly high amongst young people. An impressive 95 per cent of Britain’s graduates trust engineers, with 94 per cent of Generation X following suit. The professions at the bottom of the trust table were: advertising executives (13 per cent), politicians generally (15 per cent), government ministers (16 per cent), journalists (23 per cent) and estate agents (27 per cent).
“The recognition of trust by the public will hopefully be a welcome boost in the fixing the shortfalls faced by the industry by encouraging the next generation of talent, as engineering continues to be a vital profession across the world,” said Bannister.
“It is without doubt that engineering and technological innovation has and will continue to make a huge difference.”