Strong engineering industry drives UK productivity

Britain’s strong engineering industry is driving productivity, with benefits across the economy, according to new research published in Engineering UK 2016 The State of Engineering.

Engineering is 68 per cent more productive than the retail and wholesale sector, with apprentices making a significant contribution.

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The report, produced by EngineeringUK to analyse the engineering industry’s capacity and capability for growth, shows that this resilient sector also has a positive impact on other areas of the economy.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, says: “Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK. This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to train many more engineering if we are not to be left behind by countries like South Korea and Germany.”

For every new job in engineering, two more are created outside of the sector and every £1 GVA generated in engineering generates £1.45 elsewhere. However, the gap between supply and demand for people with engineering skills is still large enough to trigger widespread concern for the long term future.

Over 27 per cent of total UK GDP is generated by engineering, amounting to £445.6bn and turnover for engineering has grown by 3.4 per cent to £1.21tn. Employment in engineering has grown to over 5.5 million and the industry now supports 14.5 million jobs overall.

Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills, says: “These shortages are compounded by insufficient numbers of young people, especially girls, choosing a career in engineering. I am convinced we will only overcome these challenges if all those with an interest in UK engineering commit to greater collaboration and partnership.”

Through the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme the engineering community is working to inspire the next generation of engineers by helping young people from all backgrounds understand the variety, excitement and opportunities presented by a career in engineering.

Chairman of Crossrail, Terry Morgan CBE says: “In the past ten years, engineering-related apprentices have generated £12bn for the UK economy.

“Having started my career as an apprentice and seen first-hand what apprenticeships can deliver, I’m delighted that their very significant contribution has been recognised. If we are to double the number of apprentices in engineering, more needs to be done to highlight the opportunities apprenticeships can offer young people.”

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