A recent report by Engineering UK called The State of Engineering 2012 showed that 63% of UK employers in manufacturing are already experiencing difficulty recruiting individuals with science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) skills and knowledge. This is despite the fact that the replacement demand and recruitment in manufacturing will rise by an estimated 29% in professional occupations and by 16% in skilled trades occupations by 2017 in the UK.
The UK is also experiencing issues specifically in the aerospace sector. Just over half of those qualifying in aerospace engineering (57.6%) went into an engineering and technology occupation compared with near three-quarters (72.2%) who graduated in civil engineering. For those 425 UK domiciled individuals who qualified in 2009/10 in aerospace engineering, only 145 (34%) went on to work in manufacturing. Other destinations included wholesale, retail, construction, finance and insurance. In addition, aerospace engineering as a degree was less popular for young people than other engineering fields such as civil engineering (1325 graduates).
Performance Review Institute, PRI, vice president & chief operating officer Joe Pinto commented “This data only serves to highlight the tipping point of the aerospace industry at the moment: the ability to continually recruit qualified individuals to move the industry forward is becoming a critical concern. Working with industry, PRI is developing a global industry-managed system for qualifying special process aerospace personnel.”