More than two thirds of UK engineering design firms say sector has recruitment problem
22 Sep 2021
A total of 68 per cent of engineering design firms polled by organisers of the Engineering Design Show believe there is a problem in recruiting and/or retaining staff in the engineering design sector
Meanwhile, more than half of those responding admitted they were experiencing skills shortages themselves.
The firms, mostly UK-based, were contacted last month in advance of the show which take place 19-20 October in Coventry.
A majority reported that they believed there is a problem across the industry .Over half of those who responded to the survey were currently experiencing skills shortages, with a further 13 per cent anticipating this in the future.
Key issues were IR35, followed by Brexit, then location, with workplace/employee benefits coming next. A final issue was the image of engineering as a career. However, increasing the number of young people working in the sector was seen as very important by many, followed by boosting the number of women and, finally, ethnic minorities.
When asked how the skills shortage problem could be addressed, respondents suggested more training, improved education and better government apprenticeship schemes,
Recognition and decent pay, improved job advertising, more emphasis on engineering as a career in schools and improving the type of qualifications, together with the ability to hire highly specialised contractors outside 1R35, were also recommended by who respondents.
Around 22 per cent saying they take on between one and five apprentices each year, but a huge 60 per cent admitted they did noy take part in apprenticeship schemes at all. The percentage of respondents who take on graduates each year was a little lower.
When asked about the future of recruitment and retention in the industry, 42 per cent expect the problem to worsen over the next five years.
Engineering Design Show event director Gordon Kirk said: “The results of this survey underline the very real need for skilled, talented, well-trained staff in the engineering design sector and just how crucial a topic it is to the industry.
“We are very much looking forward to being able to discuss these and other issues in person at EDS 2021 in October, and with over 55 conference sessions over two days and some 150 organisations exhibiting it is going to be a very exciting event for those wanting to see and hear about the latest technologies at first hand. “