A recent study by Engineering UK has revealed that projected growth in the engineering sector within the UK could be set to create an additional £27bn per year for the British economy. The report analyses the engineering industry’s capacity for growth and studies engineering in education, training and employment. It shows that engineering accounts for a quarter (24.9%) of UK turnover – 9% higher than at the start of the recession. However, we need more engineers. Engineering companies will need 182,000 people per year with engineering skills in the decade to 2022 but there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers.
Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, EngineeringUK, stated ‘Engineering is a vital part of the UK economy, not just in terms of significant turnover but also with regards employment. For every new engineering role an additional two jobs are created in the economy. The engineering community is increasingly involved in a collective drive to inspire the next generation, who will ensure the continued growth and success of the industry in the UK. This collaborative work must continue if we are to come even close to realising engineering’s potential.’
The government seem to agree in seeing engineering as an integral part of British industry with Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, saying ‘A strong British engineering sector is vital to the long term sustainability of our economic recovery, and increasing the supply of engineers is at the heart of this. In Government, we’re working hard to make sure we have the skills we need in 2022 and beyond, but we need to work with industry to make sure we inspire the engineers of tomorrow, today.’
The report outlines several key initiatives that can practically prepare the country to meet this projected growth in the engineering industry. The initiatives focus on educational strategies and apprenticeships that can increase the number of people interested in a career in engineering. You can access the full report here.