INDUSTRY body EngineeringUK has published its annual report; The State of Engineering which shows engineering is 68% more productive than the retail and wholesale sector.
The report analyses the engineering industry’s capacity and capability for growth. It found that over 27% of total UK GDP is generated by engineering, equating to £446bn (US$651bn) and turnover for engineering grew by 3.4% to £1.21trn in 2015.
The industry now supports 14.5m jobs overall, with practising engineers and technicians making up 5.5m of those jobs. The report says, “Every time a new job is created in engineering, two more jobs are created elsewhere.”
Paul Jackson, CEO of EngineeringUK said, “Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK. This is a great opportunity.”
Increased growth in the sector, however, has led to warnings of an increased skills shortfall. Last year’s report predicted a shortfall of 55,000 young apprentices and graduates by 2022. This year’s report has revised the estimates and now believes 257,000 will be needed to fill new vacancies and will leave an annual shortfall of 69,000 by 2022.
Nick Boles, UK minister of state for skills said, “These shortages are compounded by insufficient numbers of young people, especially girls, choosing a career in engineering. I am convinced we will only overcome these challenges if all those with an interest in UK engineering commit to greater collaboration and partnership.”
Despite the worries of a potential shortfall, chemical, process and energy engineering has the highest student intake growth of all the engineering sub-disciplines, at 27.2%, with general engineering following up at 20.5% growth.
Andy Furlong, director of communications at IChemE said, “IChemE has played an important role in driving up the number of applications to chemical engineering degree programmes. We now have a record number of young people studying chemical engineering in the UK.”
Furlong also commented on the increasing diversity in chemical engineering intakes. He added, “In 2015 75% of the intakes were British citizens; 26% were women and 50% were from ethnic minorities. Our talent pipeline is growing, it's diverse and it's optimistic about the future.”
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