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Engineering sector failing to recruit – IET

Employers are doing nothing to tackle the challenge of recruiting more engineers, IT practitioners and technical staff, new research shows.

The IET’s annual Engineering and Technology: Skills and Demand in Industry report found that a quarter of employers are no action planned to recruit new staff. Just 20% plan to retrain existing staff, and of those who don’t see the need to engage with the education system, a third say they don’t see any benefit in doing so.

The recruitment of women is also very low, making up just 7% of the engineering workforce. But 37% of companies are doing nothing to improve workforce diversity.

Professor Andy Hopper, IET president, said: “Our skills survey shows that many of the UK’s engineering employers are suffering from engineering skills gaps, shortages and an aging workforce, and this will only get worse in the future when huge numbers of engineers and technicians are forecast to be needed for new infrastructure and energy projects.

“There are many actions that could and are being taken in schools, with careers advice and in further and higher education that would make a difference. The IET and the engineering institutions are playing their role in promoting the profession to students, parents and the government.

“There are some very good examples of companies getting involved in local schools and working with colleges, but our report indicates a large minority of companies who do nothing. They know they will have difficulty recruiting the engineers they need but expect someone else will sort it out for them.

“You wouldn’t leave it to chance to provide the materials, finance or machinery that you need. Why hope someone else will supply your most important asset that is your people?”

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