The skills shortage in engineering remains an ongoing concern for engineering and technology companies in the UK. Companies are taking action to reduce the skills shortages and skill gaps. However, there is a lot more to be done. The shortage of engineering or technical skills at a professional level is a mounting problem; there has also been a significant decrease in companies providing training at a professional level.
In addition, there has been no progress in diversifying the engineering and technical workforce since 2017, even though attracting under-represented groups will widen the pool of trained engineers and reduce skills shortages and gaps.
As one of the world’s largest professional engineering bodies, we want to use our findings to raise awareness of the many issues faced by the engineering industry. We are urging more businesses to provide more quality work experience opportunities for young people. This will help increase the number and range of work-ready engineers, who can earn while they learn; it will also support the rollout of the new T Levels and can lead to more apprenticeships.
A deeper engagement between employers and the education system at all levels can produce a talent pipeline to sustain a thriving UK economy. Employers, educators, government and professional institutions like the IET need to continue to work together on how best to inspire and sustain the next generation of engineers and technicians.