Engineering Industry Roundup: May 2017

Renown-Engineering-Industry-Roundup-May-2017Welcome back to this month’s industry roundup. Every month we take the biggest and latest stories in engineering and manufacturing and snapshot them into this handy monthly roundup. 

May has been a big month in the world of engineering and manufacturing as more work continues to be done to close the skills shortage gap that the UK is currently facing. As the number of exhibitions and expos increase, there are more and more surveys and reports being done showing what is in store for the UK manufacturing industry. 

This month we look at a report about how manufacturers feel the skills shortage challenge could be improved, as well as the rise in young female students in STEM subjects, and the aim of one of the UK’s biggest engineering firm’s to double their company size through apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship. We also analyse the role that robotics, AI, and 3D printing will have in UK manufacturing. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of the engineering roundup. 

Manufacturers Look to Close Skills GapEngineering-Skills-Shortage-Gap-Industry-Roundup-Renown-Engineering

The current skills shortage facing manufacturers is well known. Worth an estimated £456 billion to the UK economy, the industry needs approximately 1.8 million additional engineers by 2020 in order for the UK to meet demand.

Though the government has introduced initiatives to help fulfil the shortage, such as The Apprenticeship Levy, investments in technology institutes, and schemes to promote STEM subjects, 72% of manufacturers believe more could be done to promote skills training.

A report done by Subcon and The Engineer found that a staggering 90% of manufacturers want more young people to enter the industry. When asked how they believe the Government could encourage more people to consider a career in manufacturing, some of the most common answers included improving education at school level, investing in apprenticeship training, and promoting career progression, opportunities, and the image of the industry.

However, there is some positive news, as a report from Jobsite shows that the attempts to improve the skills shortage may be proving successful as 50% of 16 – 18-year-olds have said that they would consider a career in the industry.

Nick Gold, CEO of Jobsite has said: ‘Over the last decade, careers in tech have become aspirational. Now it’s time for engineering to revitalise its image and do the same. Through role models and high profile projects, Britain’s teens are finally seeing that STEM careers are a way to satisfy a range of needs and make a real difference in society.’  


The Role of Robotics, AI, and 3D Printing in ManufacturingRole-of-AI-3D-Printing-In-Manufacturing-Industry-Roundup-Renown-Engineering

Since the announcement of Brexit, Theresa May has appointed Siemens UK to work on putting Britain at the forefront of the next industrial revolution.

Since beginning their research, Siemens has determined that the future of the UK relies on expanding hi-tech manufacturing, which would include the use of robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing in order to deliver better productivity and create more highly paid jobs.

Siemens UK’s Chief Executive and Head of the Industrial Digitalisation Review commissioned by the government, Juergen Maier, believes that the problem with UK manufacturing is that we do not export enough, and we don’t drive productivity and output. He believes that by increasing our efforts in these areas, we will not only be at the forefront of an industrial revolution, but wages will also increase and living standards will rise.

An issue with the rise of automation in manufacturing, says Maier, is that there will be short-term job losses as they are displaced with artificial intelligence, however, in the long-run, careers in computer science, data analytics, and software coding will all increase.

Maier doesn’t deny that this will be a difficult task with many obstacles in the way but believes that the UK has the potential to win the race to industrial digitalisation. You can read the full article here.


Numbers Up for TechFuture Girls ClubTechFuture-Girls-Club-Industry-Roundup-Renown-Engineering

The nationwide effort to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects in schools is proving successful as TechFuture Girls club sees a 70% increase in the last 3 years.

TechFuture Girls was created in 2005 as part of a campaign to get more women and girls to pursue a career in STEM subjects. Current stats show that females only make up 9% of the engineering industry, and 17% of the digital workforce, forcing the government and UK businesses to try and encourage more children, and specifically females into the industry.  

The program, TechFuture, is a free classroom resource for students from Key Stages 2-4. It has been designed by top tech industry members to help teachers promote the industry so that the next generation are more interested in digital innovation.

TechFuture Girls is for females aged 9-14 to learn about tech skills and career opportunities through interactive challenges, creative projects, and digital resources such as games, quizzes and teaches them skills in cyber security, games design, 3D design, and coding.


In the past 3 years, over 19,000 girls have used the learning resources, with 84% of girls saying that they are more likely to consider further education or a career in the industry as a result of the clubs.


UK Engineering Group to Create 500 Jobs Over Next 3 Years500-jobs-and-apprenticeships-in-engineering-industry-roundup-renown-engineering

One of the nation’s leading engineering firms, adi Group has led the way for the UK manufacturing industry with its ambitious 2020 business plan, Vision 2020.

The firm, which is headquartered in Birmingham, has said that they are planning a major employment drive over the next couple of years.

Adi Group has not only committed to doubling its existing staff of 550 but has also pledged to increase their number of apprentices and pre-apprentices. The company has joined the 5% Club Initiative and has promised to increase the number of its apprentices to the equivalent of five per cent of its total employees, thus encouraging more young people to get involved in the industry.

They are also adapting the UK’s first pre-apprenticeship scheme. Designed for 14-16-year-olds, their aim is to provide work experience for those still in school to help encourage them to consider a career in the industry to help narrow the skills gap.

CEO, Alan Lusty, has said: ‘The manufacturing sector in our area is thriving, with 600,000 people in the Midlands working in the industry, delivering over 21% of the UK’s annual manufacturing output…our aim is to contribute by utilising the local skilled workforce by creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.’

You can read more about this story here.

We hope that you enjoyed this month’s engineering industry roundup. We will be back at the back end of June with the latest stories and updates from the industry. In the meantime, feel free to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn where we post news daily.