What skills is the engineering industry missing?

Monday 13 March 2017

As is the case for many sectors, skill demands are changing dramatically in engineering as new technologies emerge and create large skills gaps. 

It can cause significant issues for both businesses and the economy as a whole. As industries evolve quickly, it is difficult for graduates to keep up as some of their skills will be replaced by newer technologies. 

With this in mind, it is vital for universities and professionals to continue to upskill and understand any new trends emerging in engineering. A new study from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found that there is a significant skills gap in the industry.

The research found that 62 per cent of engineering employers say graduates do not have the right skills for the modern workplace, while 68 per cent are worried that the education system will struggle to keep up with the necessary skills for technological change. 

With many companies struggling to find the skills they require in full-time staff, specialist contractors could find excellent opportunities within the engineering sector. Plus, by using a specialist contractor accountant, self-employed professionals can remove much of the admin involved in contracting.

Some 40 per cent of respondents surveyed believe their recruitment will be negatively affected over the coming four to five years due to Brexit, while 91 per cent of companies said work must be done to improve the supply of engineers and technicians. 

What’s more, 52 per cent of employers are currently seeking new recruits for engineering and technology positions, while 57 per cent currently or have recently suffered issues with recruiting senior engineers and 50 per cent find new recruits do not meet their standards.

The research also looked at diversity in engineering, finding that nine per cent of the country’s engineering and technology workforce are female. Findings also showed that 63 per cent of businesses do not have gender diversity initiatives, whereas 73 per cent are without LGBT or ethnic diversity projects. 

Naomi Climer, IET president, said: “Demand for engineers is high but the report reveals deeper concern than ever around the skills and experience of our future workforce.

“As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade and some uncertainty around skills following Brexit, it is more important than ever that we develop the next generation of ‘home grown’ engineering and technology talent.”

Ms Climer went on to say that continuing professional development is important as technology in the sector continues to evolve quickly. 

By Victoria McDonnell

Get in touch

Please select your type of enquiry:

Brookson on Twitter