Engineering sector challenged by skills shortage

Engineering skills gaps and shortages continue to be a huge problem for employers, according to a new report published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Two thirds (61 per cent) of employers ranked the recruitment of engineering staff with the right skills top of a list of challenges in achieving their business objectives in the next three years.

The 2017 Skills and Demand in Industry report also shows that 75 per cent believe that tackling the skills problem is fundamental to making the Government’s industrial strategy viable, with 81 per cent agreeing that more employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training to help improve the supply of engineers and technicians.

Just 30 per cent of all employers acknowledge that it is their responsibility to invest in the necessary training to meet the skills challenges posed by increased digitisation and automation, however they do recognise that this will have an impact on the way they work, even if many admit are not ready for the skills challenges which will emerge.

Commenting on the report, Nigel Fine, IET Chief Executive and Secretary, says: “This year’s report has been written and published against the backdrop of unprecedented change in the UK’s economic landscape and further challenges ahead.

“Chief among these is the decision to leave the European Union, which will not only alter our trading relationships with the rest of Europe, but will also have an impact on the flow of engineering talent into the UK.

“However, while Brexit appears to garner the majority of attention in the day-to-day national debate, it is not the only issue occupying the minds of employers of engineers and technicians.

“The digital transformation of production and supply chains in our sector means businesses must think hard about the impact it will have on the kind of jobs and skills they need for the future.

“Meanwhile, organisations continue to grapple with the challenge of finding and retaining the right people, with the right skills, to ensure they take advantage of the robust demand for their products and services.”

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For further information, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.