Our research demonstrates that public understanding and perception of engineering and engineers are rising. It is also clear that the engineering sector has a crucial role to play in delivering growth for the UK, in building our capacity to compete in a rapidly growing global market and in shaping our ability to cope with mounting pressure on the world’s resources.
At EngineeringUK we believe that engineering is one of the most important and rewarding careers anyone can have. We recognise the need to attract a greater talent pool into engineering and focus on joined-up action to ensure we seize the opportunities at a national level.
We work with a huge range of partners to deliver innovative engineering careers programmes that challenge outdated perceptions of the industry and showcase the real, dynamic jobs available with the right qualifications. We underpin this activity with incisive research that paints a clear picture of the state of UK engineering – the skills, the jobs, the demands, the trends, the future.
Engineering is vital to our everyday lives – from essentials like running water, transport and power generation through to mobile phones, broadcasting and broadband internet. It’s also crucial to the UK economy, contributing £1.06 trillion in turnover, or 24% of the turnover for all businesses in the UK.
Why do we need more engineers?
Between 2010 and 2020, engineering companies are projected to have 2.74 million job openings, of which, 1.86 million will be workers who are likely to need engineering skills.
As the numbers of 20 to 64-year-olds - the most economically-active sector of our population - gradually decline, we will need to expand our horizons in order to ensure that we have the pool of future engineering talent we need. To meet the demand for engineering skills and to remain a global economic competitor the UK is going to need more young people to take up engineering over the next five to ten years.
Through the annual Big Bang Fair, the Big Bang Near Me Fairs that happen around the country throughout the year and the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme, we’re inspiring the next generation of young people - from all backgrounds - to become engineers or scientists. The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers are exciting, inclusive, enlightening and fun. They’re underpinned by accurate and engaging careers information and resources for young people, teachers and parents.
Why is engineering important?
Turnover of UK engineering enterprises is substantial, at £1.06 trillion in the year ending March 2011: that’s 23.9% of the turnover of all UK enterprises and over three times the size of the retail sector.
The sector employs 5.4 million people across 542,440 engineering companies. UK manufacturing is very much alive and well; ranking ninth in global output, it makes up almost half (46%) of UK exports, employs 2.5 million people, and accounts for 72% of UK business R&D. Far from a manufacturing decline, output has risen by 148% from 1948 to 2011 and is more valuable to the UK than ever.
The UK is currently acknowledged as a world leader in several sectors: universities, automotive, renewable energy, space, low carbon, aerospace, creative industries, utilities, agri-food and bioscience. And we have a powerful SME sector which employs 42% of the UK workforce, represents 99.9% of all enterprises and makes a significant contribution to the economy at £1.5 trillion turnover.
Every year we produce our flagship statistical publication - Engineering UK - which is used to support and advise the engineering community, Government and the media. We include our research in the planning for all our activities, making sure that everything we do is accurate, up-to-date, relevant and dependable.
Engineering is central to ensuring sustainable economic growth in the UK and making sure the country remains competitive in the global economy. We work with partners across government, business and industry, education and skills, the professional engineering institutions, the Engineering Council and the wider science and engineering communities to ensure the UK can rise to the challenges of the present and the future.
EngineeringUK is the working name of The Engineering and Technology Board, a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 4322409, Registered Charity No.1089678.