A recent survey has found that the majority of UK manufacturers are urging the government to make some significant changes to the way young people are being encouraged into a career in engineering. The poll was carried out by Subcon, the UK’s premier manufacturing supply chain show, and leading industry magazine, The Engineer, in the hopes to identify what UK manufacturers think can be done to close the ongoing skills gap.
The UK is currently facing a significant skills shortage in engineering, with the government estimating that to keep up with current demand, there will be a requirement for an additional 1.8 million engineers by 2020.
Though the government have introduced initiatives to help increase this number, such as improving the way STEM is taught in schools, 90% of UK manufacturers still believe that more can be done to increase this number. Some of the solutions to aid this included:
- Improving education on the subject at school level
- Investing in apprenticeships
- Make aware the career progression and opportunities that are available
- An increase in salary across the industry
- Improving the view and image of the sector.
The main focus for closing the skills shortage in engineering has been on engaging young people to become more involved in the industry by challenging the perception of STEM subjects.
This coincides with a movement to encourage young girls and women to pursue a career in engineering, as a report from IET found that women represent only 9% of the engineering workforce in the UK, which led to the social media campaign #9percentisnotenough in light of International Women’s Day.
Renown Group’s Managing Director, John Hamilton, commented: ‘There is no denying that the engineering skills shortage is a significant issue facing the UK manufacturing industry. Though the government is working hard to combat this challenge, there is a lot that UK manufacturers can do as well. We must contribute ourselves if we want to encourage young people into the industry by showing them what opportunities there are, as well as how great modern day apprenticeships are, the benefits involved, and the inspiring work that engineers are currently working on.’
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