Engineering currently contributes £481 billion in added value to our economy and plays a significant role in the sustainability and growth of the UK economyEngineering UK has projected that the British market will require 87,000 new skilled engineers with a higher qualification every year for the next 8 years. As such you would expect that places on engineering courses throughout the UK would be flooded with applicants.

The reality of the situation is that only 46,000 individuals per year in the UK are expected to obtain the level of qualifications required. That’s a discrepancy of over 40,000 engineers per year! The question to ask is why are so few of our younger population entering into the world of engineering and what does this mean for the manufacturing sector in the UK?

This photograph is reproduced with the permission of Rolls-Royce plc, copyright © Rolls-Royce plc 2012

This photograph is reproduced with the permission of Rolls-Royce plc, copyright © Rolls-Royce plc 2012

Engineering used to be one of the most admired professions within the UK, especially amongst the male population. Unfortunately these days it has taken a back step when it comes to career choices.  Presidentof the RAE, Sir John Parker GBE FREng has said “If we want to access the same diversity of skills and experience shared by these sectors, there are a number of challenges that the engineering community needs to step up to, starting from attracting more engineers by promoting the role engineering plays in society to offering more support to existing engineers.”

The British government along with leading technical businesses and various bodies including the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) are working together to support growth in UK engineering and manufacturing businesses on top of promoting engineering as a valuable career choice. They are also working to increase the number of female engineers and individuals from all sectors of the population.

The RAE have launched their ‘Engineering for Growth’ campaign in order to demonstrate the contribution of engineers to economic growth and the quality of life in the UK. It is an undeniable fact that unless this skill gap is addressed quickly it will have a significant knock on affect on UK growth.

To find out more about the campaign, visit http://engineeringforgrowth.org.uk/ or go to the RAE website http://www.raeng.org.uk. Another useful site to visit ishttp://www.engineeringuk.com.