Year of the Engineer

Last year EngineeringUK reported an annual shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates. Engineering is suffering from a well reported skills shortage and with an abundance of long term engineering projects in progress, including HS2, Heathrow and Gatwick expansions and Hinkley Point C, employers across the industry are committed to finding the skills required to deliver these. Tackling underlying issues such as the skills shortage, the underfed talent pipeline and a lack of diversity across the workforce (The Royal Academy of Engineering reported in 2015 that 94% of the workforce is white and 92% male) is key to achieving the 186,000 skilled recruits the engineering profession would like each year to 2024 (EngineeringUK, 2017).

Despite the challenges, the engineering industry continues to prosper and deliver economic success to the UK. The British Government’s commitment to industry in the form of the Industrial Strategy and recently announced £600 billion infrastructure pipeline plans, make it clear that engineering has a vital role to play in Britain’s future.

2018 has been chosen as the year to celebrate the proud heritage of engineering as well as the exciting future of the industry through the ‘Year of the Engineer’ campaign. This provides an opportunity for industries to collaborate with schools and families to ensure the future generation understand exactly what a career in engineering means.

With driverless cars, high speed trains travelling faster than 250mph and aircrafts that can fly for 340 hours without the need to refuel, it is the perfect time to promote the exciting world of engineering to the younger generation. Today’s engineers have evolved from the outdated perceptions held by many across society. The breadth of creativity and emergence of new technologies not only offer the younger generation the chance to have an exciting career but also to have a real impact to shape the future of the world we live in. There has never been a better time to be an engineer.

However, with only a third of parents knowing what people in Engineering do (EngineeringUK, 2017) one of the campaign’s main objectives is to encourage young people, parents and teachers to better understand the variety, creativity and value of modern engineering. Promotion of engineering as a career choice to younger generations like STEM initiatives in schools, is seen by engineers as the most important factor to tackling the skills shortage in the future (Matchtech’s Voice of the Workforce report, 2017). In turn the campaign hopes to tackle the skills gap and lack of diversity within the engineering workforce. 

The campaign has already captured the imagination of hundreds of organisations which are joining forces to share their expertise to inspire the future generation from primary school children through to graduates what an remarkable career opportunity engineering could be for them.

The Year of Engineering will launch in mid-January 2018 and Matchtech will be fully supporting this fantastic initiative. For more information please visit the ‘Year of the Engineering’ website here:

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