Research published this week by Cebr found that engineering sectors contributed £455.6 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014, 27.1% of the total. The study, conducted on behalf of EngineeringUK, also found that filling the demand for new engineering jobs will generate an additional £27 billion per year for the UK economy from 2022. This is equivalent to building 1,800 schools or 110 hospitals.
If filled, the new engineering roles will generate significant output across all of the UK’s nations and regions, including £8.3 billion in London and £7.1 billion in the South East annually in 2022. The East of England and the South West will benefit from GDP boosts of £2.8 billion and £2.2 billion, respectively, and the North West and Scotland will each enjoy a £1.7 billion increase in economic output.
Engineering sectors support significant employment across the UK, accounting for over a quarter of the nation’s firms and providing jobs for 5.5 million people. The average engineering sector employee is more productive than those in accountancy or the legal profession and commands a 15% wage premium over other occupations.
However, the UK needs more engineers. Engineering companies will require 182,000 people per year with engineering skills in the decade to 2022, but there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers.
Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, EngineeringUK, said:
‘Engineering is a vital part of the UK economy, not just in terms of significant turnover but also with regards employment. For every new engineering role an additional two jobs are created in the economy. The engineering community is increasingly involved in a collective drive to inspire the next generation, who will ensure the continued growth and success of the industry in the UK. This collaborative work must continue if we are to come even close to realising engineering’s potential.’
Miranda Davies, Director of Emerging Talent at engineering company Thales, said:
‘Britain is great at engineering but this will not continue if we don’t address the massive shortage of skills. We need young people to understand our industry better, to see the range of careers available and to be excited by where engineering could take them. We support the call for collaborative action across Government, business, the education sector and the wider engineering community to address the shortage of engineering skills.’
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:
‘A strong British engineering sector is vital to the long term sustainability of our economic recovery, and increasing the supply of engineers is at the heart of this. In Government, we’re working hard to make sure we have the skills we need in 2022 and beyond, but we need to work with industry to make sure we inspire the engineers of tomorrow, today.’
On behalf of the engineering community EngineeringUK makes the following calls for collaborative action across government, engineering businesses, the education sector and the wider engineering community to realise these recommendations:
- A doubling of the number of young people studying GCSE physics as part of triple sciences.
- A two-fold increase in the number of Advanced Apprenticeship achievements.
- Either a doubling of the number of engineering graduates or a 50% increase in the number of engineering and technology and other related STEM as well as non-STEM graduates who are known to enter engineering companies.
- Provision of careers inspiration for all 11-14 year olds.
- Support for teachers and careers advisors delivering careers information.
The Engineering UK 2015 The State of Engineering (#EngUK15) report is available from www.engineeringuk.com.
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Notes to Editors
Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd (Cebr) is an independent consultancy with a reputation for sound business advice based on thorough and insightful research. Since 1992, Cebr has been at the forefront of business and public interest research, providing analysis, forecasts and strategic advice to major UK and multinational companies, financial institutions, government departments and agencies, trade bodies and the European Commission.
Cebr is recognised as one of the country’s leading independent commentators on economics and business trends. Its forecasts are used by a diverse audience of business people, policy makers and journalists; even the Treasury publishes its predictions for the UK economy.
EngineeringUK is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community: producing evidence on the state of engineering, sharing knowledge within engineering and inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering through programmes Tomorrow’s Engineers and The Big Bang. For more information about EngineeringUK please visit www.EngineeringUK.com