Engineering UK says 56k with core skills needed annually
5 Mar 2018
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has called for government to act on new research that says Britain must find another 56,000 people annually with ‘core engineering skills’ to ensure the country’s continued economic success.
The Engineering UK 2018: The State of Engineering report points out the engineering sector currently creates a turnover of £1.2 trillion a year towards the UK economy and employs almost 19% (5.6m people) of the country’s workforce.
However, more needs to be done, it warns, to ensure the supply of new recruits to industry, with the education system a key challenge.
For example, nearly 60% of 11-14 year olds know little or nothing about one of the most important entry points to engineering – apprenticeships.
We face an exciting new technological revolution with all sorts of new opportunities for the next generation
Stephen Tetlow, chief executive, IMechE
Peter Finegold, head of education policy at the IIMechE, said: “Solutions to this include fully resourced implementation of the Government’s careers strategy, as well as meaningful exposure to industry for pupils and their teachers.
“The supply of teachers is also key – good teachers are more important than good courses. Schools should be thought of as part of industry’s supply chain, as much as any producer of components. Which is why teachers must feel supported, respected and valued.”
He added that the loss of STEM teachers in England is a major concern. Nearly a quarter of teachers who qualified between 2011 and 2015 have left the profession and there remained an urgent need to reverse this trend.
Chief executive Stephen Tetlow said The Year of Engineering offered an opportunity to inspire young people to pursue an engineering career.
“We face an exciting new technological revolution with all sorts of new opportunities for the next generation of engineers, and it has never been more important to think about how to find, inspire and nurture the engineers of tomorrow,” he stated.