The UK’s engineering industry needs 265,000 new recruits each year until 2024 to close up the current skills gap, it has been claimed.
Citing the figure from manufacturers’ organisation the EEF, announced during the Tomorrow’s Engineers Week of November 6th to 10th, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) said that the statistic emphasised the scale of the skills gap within the manufacturing and engineering professions.
Speaking to Professional Engineering, head of education and skills at the EEF Verity Davidge said that the engineering sector is continuing to grow but that many older workers are now entering retirement.
This leaves a shortfall of around 69,000 skilled engineers and graduates every year, and not enough applications are being made on mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering training courses.
“Around three-quarters of our members say they’ve actually struggled to fill key engineering positions in the past three years and looking ahead, that concern is definitely growing,” she told the publication.
Meanwhile, a new report from the IMechE entitled The Culture of Engineering in Schools has called on the government to rethink its policy on apprenticeships in order to inspire the next generation of engineers to fill these vital roles.
Modern engineering can change the world, promising economic growth, sound financial rewards and creative career opportunities, says the report’s author Peter Finegold, however, he adds that too few young people are aware of the value of engineering.
As such, the government should prioritise engineering and make it a key focus of school education, updating curricula and creating individualised engineering strategies for schools, the report suggests.