04 Jun Engineering UK 2018: the State of Engineering

Engineering UK has recently published a comprehensive analysis of the engineering sector in the UK. Now in its 20th year, the report predicts that the engineering workforce will need to grow – there is an annual demand for 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills and a further requirement for 79,000 related roles requiring a mix of skills, including engineering. 51% of young people surveyed said that they would consider a career in engineering, compared with 40% in 2013, and there has been an increase in first degree entrant numbers for engineering and technology subjects, as well as increases in A’ level take-up across STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. Despite being 47% of the workforce, women make up only 12% of those working in engineering occupations so there is clearly an opportunity to increase these numbers. Companies are starting to look at their recruitment strategies to ensure they do not unwittingly exclude those with the relevant skills but perhaps without significant industrial experience.

In schools, relevant careers advice seems to be lacking, due to shortages in teachers with STEM specialisms and few teachers feeling confident about giving careers advice around engineering roles. There are a plethora of STEM engagement initiatives available to schools (including our own ‘Casting the Future’ Foundry Kit) and schools struggle to differentiate between offers so support of a local business is vital.

2018 is the Year of Engineering and the report states that renewed impetus arising from the government’s Industrial Strategy should provide an opportunity to help ensure that young people have a full understanding of the excitement and variety that a career in engineering offers and the vital contribution that they can make. The Royal Academy of Engineering and EngineeringUK have partnered to deliver ‘This is Engineering’ to help capitalise on this opportunity.

For the full report or the executive summary please visit www.engineeringuk.com/research


Angela Mason
Angela Mason