The State of Engineering – Tackling The Skills Shortage

Alex Christie recently attended a talk by Andrew Grazebrook of EngineeringUK which highlighted some of the challenges the engineering sector faces with skills shortages and recruitment. Here he shares his thoughts on the State of Engineering.

The State of Engineering – Tackling The Skills Shortage

I recently attended an engineering forum with APSCo which included a presentation from Andrew Grazebrook, Head of Business Development at EngineeringUK. This session was on the skills shortage and the state of the engineering sector in the UK, and highlighted yet again why high quality technical candidates are in such great demand.

One of the statistics Andrew highlighted was the shortfall of up to 59,000 engineering graduates and technicians needed to fill core engineering positions annually, and how 49% of engineering employers have experienced difficulty recruiting. This problem affects all engineering sectors including our area of interest – construction engineering recruitment.

EngineeringUK’s State of Engineering synopsis and recommendations makes interesting reading – download your copy here. Exploring the engineering landscape in 2018, demand forecasts, government strategies and education trends, it recommends a number of ways employers can help tackle the challenges this sector faces.

Ways To Tackle The Skills Shortages In Construction Engineering, Long Term

While many of these recommendations won’t solve your recruitment challenges overnight, long term they could help ensure a more sustainable talent pipeline for the future. Here’s a snapshot of what companies in the construction engineering field can do:

Engage with the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme – this outreach programme aims to reach 1 million young people every year with effective careers interventions from STEM employers. This might involve going into schools in your local area to talk to young people about careers in engineering and showcase and contextualise engineering with hands on activities and examples. More info can be found here.

Explore vocational and apprenticeship routes into engineering – can your firm take on apprentices or provide vocational routes into engineering? While many young people go into higher education, many others do not want to continue their studies at university and may prefer to get skills in a workplace. Can you offer opportunities to enter engineering without a degree?

Get involved with This is Engineering and the Year of Engineering campaigns – both these campaigns aim to promote engineering as an exciting career choice to young people. You can get involved by sharing content – there are some inspiring videos of young engineers talking about their jobs, like the video below.

Promote diversity and inclusion – women, black and minority ethnic communities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds currently only make up a small percentage of the engineering workforce. While women make up 47% of the UK workforce overall, only 12% engineers and technicians are women. BME people make up 12% of the UK workforce but only 8% of engineers and technicians come from this group. That’s a lot of potential talent that is not being tapped into. So review your diversity and inclusion policies, get involved in mentoring schemes, and positively promote your job opportunities to these groups.

If you would like to speak to me about your recruitment requirements and any challenges you may be experiencing finding the right talent, please get in touch

Call 01252 413080 or email [email protected]

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