Filling the demand for new engineering jobs will generate an additional £27 billion per year for the UK economy from 2022, the equivalent of building 1,800 schools or 110 hospitals, according to new research published in Engineering UK 2015 The State of Engineering. To meet projected employer demand the number of engineering apprentices and graduates entering the industry will need to double.
The report, produced by EngineeringUK, analyses the engineering industry’s capacity and capability for growth and details 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.
Key recommendations of report are-
• Either a doubling of the number of engineering graduates or a 50% increase in the number of engineering and technology and other related STEM and non-STEM graduates who are known to enter engineering occupations. This is vital to meet the demand for future engineering graduates and to meet the additional shortfall in physics teachers and engineering lecturers needed to inspire future generations of talented engineers.
• A doubling of the number of young people studying GCSE physics as part of triple sciences and a growth in the number of students studying physics A level (or equivalent) to equal that of maths. This must have a particular focus on increasing the take-up and progression by girls.
• A two-fold increase in the number of Advanced Apprenticeship achievements in engineering and manufacturing technology, construction planning and the built environment, and information and communications technologies.
• Provision of careers inspiration for all 11 to 14 year olds. This should include opportunities for every child between 11 and 14 years old to have at least one engineering experience with an employer. This inspiration must highlight the value placed on STEM skills and promote the diversity of engineering careers available. It must be backed up, when required, by (face-to-face) consistent careers information, advice and guidance that highlights the subjects needed and the variety of routes to those careers.
• Support for teachers and careers advisors delivering careers information so that they understand the range of modern scientific, technological and engineering career paths, including vocational/ technician roles. It is vital that our education system recognises the employer value placed on STEM subjects and that young people have the opportunity to experience a 21st century engineering workplace for themselves.