The IET highlighted the findings of its 2021 Skills and Demand in Industry survey, which highlights that there continues to be a serious skills gap in the workforce. This will significantly impact the ability to grow innovation in the UK and meet workforce demands now and in the future.
The IET highlighted that:
- The IET Skills and Demand in Industry Survey identifies that almost half of employers in the engineering and technology sector continue to experience difficulties recruiting
- There are key gaps at technician level, partly due to a lack of recognition for the role
- We need to ensure there is a strong STEM education pipeline and incentives to enter into a STEM career
- Reskilling and upskilling the workforce is vital to ensure we are agile to meet future demand
- Digital, manufacturing and sustainability skills will be needed to meet net-zero targets and grow the economy
- Skill development in the UK needs a whole system approach that also addresses regional variation and supports levelling up
Businesses will need support to help reskill and upskill the existing workforce to meet future skill requirements and continue to advance and innovate. We need to consider the whole landscape of skills and its relationship with innovation. It is a constantly changing landscape that requires agility and a holistic approach to incentivise people of all ages to engage in a STEM career.