CEO, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation
I am saddened to be writing yet again about a skills gap that appears to be a permanent blight on our sector. Manufacturers across the UK are crying out for the talented and skilled young people they so desperately need in order to innovate and grow.
Three quarters of UK manufacturers have struggled to recruit skilled staff in recent years. Their plans to drive productivity improvements and to capitalise on the 4th industrial revolution – the new technology driven industrial age – are at risk because the UK is struggling to provide the right quantity and quality of skills to meet their needs.
But perhaps most disappointing of all is the human story behind the skills gap. It is the waste of opportunity, the lack of support for aspiration and the fact that so many young people are missing out on the chance to enjoy a dynamic, diverse and well-paid career.
Engineering graduates now earn over £5,000 or 22% a year more than other UK graduates
Because that is what engineering offers. Our latest pay benchmarking report shows that engineering graduates now earn over £5,000 or 22% a year more than other UK graduates. Our sector also offers high quality, well-paid apprenticeships where young people can ‘earn and learn’ – picking up the academic and workplace skills that employers value, but struggle to find.
If this campaign is to achieve anything then I hope it is this – let us raise awareness and inspire the UK’s future generation of engineers. Help us to raise ambitions and encourage young women and men to aim high. Above all, help us bring an end to wasted talent and opportunities and ensure many more young people are able to enjoy a successful career in engineering.