This detailed Engineering UK report shows the value of engineering to the UK, and reports the improvements that the engineering sector has made with regards to recruitment.

Despite the number of students achieving a first class engineering degree and the increase in those undertaking engineering apprenticeships, the engineering graduate supply fails to meet the demand for the UK workforce. In the wake of this research, Engineering UK has set out recommendations to address these shortcomings:

  1. Encourage many more pupils to choose STEM subjects and make well-informed choices that maintain the option of a career in engineering and technology.
  2. Increase diversity in engineering and technology, through the entire education system and into and throughout employment.
  3. Draw on the talent already in the workforce: increase the skills, and improve the retention, of existing engineering employees – and attract employees from other sectors.
  4. Enhance the vital international dimension in UK Higher Education: world-class, welcoming and open for study – and subsequent employment.
  5. Develop an industrial strategy that reinforces and sustains engineering’s contributions to the UK, and that recognises and helps to address the STEM skills gap.

Summary:

  • It is estimated that engineering contributed £486 billion to UK GDP in 2015 – around 26% of the total and representing 2.3% growth since 2014.
  • Furthermore, every additional £1 of GVA created by engineering activity creates an additional £1.45 of GVA through indirect effects on the supply chain and more widely on household incomes and employment.
  • Only 1 in 8 of those in engineering occupations are women.
  • 9% more engineering and technology first degrees obtained in 2014/15 than the year before, which also saw the highest number of engineering related apprenticeship starts in England for ten years. In addition, more 11-16 year olds “would consider a career in engineering” (up from 40% to 51% in four years).
  • Engineering graduate supply falls well short of demand: the publication reports a shortfall of at least 20,000 annually. The UK is highly dependent on attracting and retaining international talent from the EU and beyond to help meet this shortfall: a vital part of post-Brexit policies.

To read more publications from Engineering UK, visit their website.