Working close with apprenticeships could drive engineering talent further

Published: 06 Mar 2018 By Matt Cook

A new report delivered by EngineeringUK has highlighted that a further focus on apprenticeships is required to compensate for the industry shortfall that stands at over 50,000 engineering jobs every year. The report suggests that young people know very little about the apprenticeship and vocational pathways into engineering and overall popularity towards the industry is in a gradual decline.

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The ‘State of Engineering’ report which was released before the launch of the Apprenticeship week which commenced on Monday. The report identifies that nearly 60% of 11-14-year-olds suggest they know little about options to get involved in engineering with under half of the parents stating they understand what an apprenticeship involves.

According to EngineeringUK, the current annual demand for core engineering professionals stands at just under 125,000 each year, with an additional 80,000 engineers required in other relevant positions. The government has introduced a levy last year to encourage more funding into engineering career paths but recent data has indicated there has been a decline in interest.

Sean Harris, the Membership Director of the Institution of Civil Engineers has explained there are fewer people entering the industry as a result of uncertainty due to Brexit, impacting overall recruitment plans. Harris believes the issue could potentially get worse as the industry continues to transform due to new technology and creating a need for more technical and skilled professionals. Harris suggests that we need to create and secure a highly skilled and trained workforce that can deliver on planned and potential new projects.

Mark Titterington, the chief executive of EngineeringUK emphasises that the types of jobs engineers actually do are very different to what is expected. The Year of Engineering is vital to highlight to young people what apprenticeships involve and how credible and rewarding a career in engineering can be.

The Head of Education Policy at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has said the Government is promoting its careers strategy as well as focusing on improving exposure to the engineering industry to both students and their teachers.

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