Report highlights the challenges facing engineering graduates

Published: 16 Jan 2018 By Matt Cook

A report by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has revealed the challenges facing the UK engineering industry. The report suggests that newly qualified engineers are not receiving the correct education to meet today’s economy. Many engineering companies refer to the content of STEM qualifications and a combination of lack of direct work experience and range of soft skill development that is causing many engineering graduates to struggle to find jobs despite rising demands.

The report suggests that 68% of graduates with an engineering degree went into full-time employment with the remaining seeking part-time employment options or completing further studies. Whilst women within the engineering industry are better represented, making up 9% of all engineers in 2016 compared to only 5% in 2009, they still largely remain a minority within the engineering industry. The report highlights that the engineering industry consists of over 90% white demographic, and report findings suggest that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background graduates receive lower average salaries and have fewer job opportunities available.
 
The report suggests further efforts are needed to encourage women and BAME graduates into the engineering sectors. Improved collaboration between employers, education and training institutions is critical for a graduate to develop the correct skills, training, and experience required by the sector.


A connected approach between employers and the wider engineering community will allow clearer communication of the benefits of pursuing a career in engineering and attract more people to the industry.


Individuals can also focus on their employability by gaining more experience through work placements and solidifying contacts with potential employers. If this can be supported further in education and universities it will create more opportunities for people entering the industry.
 
Other key findings of the report:
-There has been an increase of nearly 10% of engineers now working in the industry, rising to over 460,000 in the UK.
- Increase from 5% to 9% of women working in the engineering industry.
- The engineering industry is over 90% white with report findings suggesting BAME graduates have fewer opportunities and lower than average salaries.
- The average earnings of an engineer exceed £42,000 which is nearly 50% higher than the average earnings within the UK.
-The report suggests 38.5% of engineering graduate went into an engineering profession, the lowest statistic since 2012.


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