Engineering graduates & apprentices need to double

Published:  25 January, 2013

A report launched at No 11 Downing Street by EngineeringUK at the end of last year 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 – 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. Yet 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."

The launch at No. 11 was hosted by Michael Fallon MP, bringing together chief executives across UK engineering to discuss the findings and actions to make an impact on a national level. Attendees at No. 11 included Alstom Ltd, Arup Group Trust, Aston University, Avingtrans plc, BAA Airports Ltd, Costain Group plc, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, EngineeringUK, E.ON UK plc, Finmeccanica UK Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc, JCB World Headquarters, Mondelez, National Grid, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Olympic Delivery Authority, Rolls-Royce plc, The Royal Academy of Engineering, Shell International Ltd, Siemens plc, and Talk Talk.

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