UKCES: Report highlighting need for engineering skills is spot on

Engineering is a vital part of the UK economy – engineering employers have the potential to generate an additional £27 billion per year from 2022. This is equivalent to the cost of building 1,800 secondary schools or 110 new hospitals

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has welcomed a new report by Engineering UK, calling for action to be taken now to prepare for increasing skills demand.

Now in its 17th year, the Engineering UK report has provided the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community, government, businesses and third sector organisations with a compelling evidence base across the STEM continuum. 

There are two overriding messages from the report. Firstly, that Britain is great at engineering – its skilled engineers are world class and engineering makes a vital and valued contribution to the UK economy, and can help mitigate the grand global challenges of climate change, ageing populations, and supply of food, clean water and energy. Secondly, that the UK at all levels of education does not have either the current capacity or the rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers by 2022.

Commenting on The State of Engineering, published today by Engineering UK, Michael Davis, chief executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) said: “Engineering is a vital part of the UK economy, both in its own right and because it underpins countless other sectors. Addressing skills gaps and shortages is essential if we are to have the world-class engineers we need in the future.

“To do this, employers must work in partnership within their sectors, with the government, and education providers. We need to make sure that engineering jobs are attractive, offering opportunities to both get into work and make good progress in a career. That means shaking off the ‘greasy rag’ image that engineering sometimes has, and creating more traineeships, apprenticeships and mid-level jobs, as well as making it easier for people who have left the sector to re-enter it.”



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