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UK needs to double number of recruits into engineering

21 December 2012

A report launched at No 11 Downing Street by EngineeringUK in December highlights the need to double the number of annual recruits into engineering to 2020 to meet expected demand. Engineering companies are projected to have 2.74 million job openings from 2010 to 2020, 1.86 million of which will need engineering skills. 

Of these, approximately 87,000 per year will require people with degree (including foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate) qualifications. Currently the UK produces only 46,000 engineering graduates each year. There will also be demand for around 69,000 people qualified at advanced apprenticeship or equivalent level each year. Only around 27,000 UK apprentices a year currently qualify at the appropriate level.

EngineeringUK Chief Executive Paul Jackson said: “What the report makes clear is the need to lay the groundwork early. This means doubling the numbers of young people studying GCSE physics as part of triple science, growing the numbers of students studying physics A level and providing robust and consistent careers information for young people that promotes the diversity of engineering careers available and the variety of routes to those careers.

“Job prospects in engineering are a good news story. It is crucial, however, that Government, business, professional bodies, education and the wider engineering community continue to work together to ensure that the UK has the talent pipeline ready to meet demand.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon, said: “Engineering is fundamental to the UK's economic progress, so it's critical that we ensure there are enough skilled people to meet demand.

"Last month we announced that the business run Talent Retention Scheme - which is helping engineers leaving the defence sector to find new jobs - is being extended to students, and we're continuing to look at various ways to support engineering at all levels, such as engagement in schools, apprenticeships and postgraduate training including engineering doctorates."

Key findings from the Engineering UK report - The State of Engineering 2013:

• Engineering turnover was £1.06 trillion in the year ending March 2011, 23.9% of the turnover of all UK enterprises and three times the size of the retail sector 

• 5.4 million people are employed across 542,440 engineering enterprises.

The full report can be accessed at:

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