Building, Engineering and Construction work of the Olympic Park for London 2012 has raised the public profile of the industry, helping millions of people in Britain to appreciate the importance of civil engineering to society, a survey by a leading engineering body revealed today.

A new survey published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) showed that over half of the public (53%) no longer just think about bridges when they think of civil engineering in the light of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Nearly half of the 2, 000 people who took part in the ComRes survey  said they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers.

More than 46,000 jobs have been created as a result of the London 2012 construction project. Post-Olympic work, taking place just after the closing ceremony next month, is expected to create thousands of extra new jobs.

The successful delivery of the £7-billion worth Olympic infrastructure has raised the public profile of civil engineers and people working in the trades.

45% of the people who participated in the survey say they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers. Over a third (38%) of the participants said they would encourage their children to pursue a career in civil engineering.

ICE President Richard Coackley said: “Our day-to-day lives depend on the infrastructure around us that is designed, built and maintained by civil engineers – from roads, railways and bridges to energy, water and waste networks.

“It forms the backbone of society and the economy. But unfortunately it is often only when things go wrong that the work of civil engineers is thrust into the media spotlight.

“The London 2012 Games have changed this – showcasing and celebrating the work of these often ‘unsung heroes’ while at the same time helping the public understand more about what civil engineers do and what a diverse and exciting career it is.

“If anything could excite and inspire young people to pursue civil engineering as a career it’s the Olympic and Paralympic Games – a true feat of engineering in every sense.”

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