This EEF report finds that manufacturing companies rely more heavily on EU workers to fill low, mid and highly skilled roles than the UK average.

Two of the most heavily cited reasons for employing EU nationals are that there are not enough UK applicants to fill every role, and that UK applicants often lack the skills required to undertake work. While the EU referendum result has yet to have a tangible effect on the manufacturing workforce, organisations are striving to mitigate issues arising from the tightening of migration from EU countries.


  • 72% of manufacturers are concerned about finding the skills their business needs.
  • 35% of vacancies in manufacturing are considered hard to fill.
  • 265,000 new entrants are required each year between now and 2024, of which 186,000 will be in key engineering roles.
  • Where manufacturers have recruited engineering professionals, they have faced problems in doing so, with 73% saying they found it difficult to fill these positions.

To see more of EEF's work, visit their website.