Engineering sector call issued as jobless total expected to fall


The importance of the engineering industry to the UK economy has been revealed ahead of fresh unemployment figures.

A study showed that 14.5 million jobs are supported by the engineering sector, about half of all UK employment.

In the past 10 years, engineering-related apprentices have generated £12 billion for the economy, according to the Engineering UK report.

Engineering companies are predicted to need 182,000 people with engineering skills each year but not enough are being trained, it was warned.

The industry is holding an event in Birmingham aimed at inspiring more young people to continue with subjects that are vital to jobs in engineering, technology and science.

Engineering UK chief executive Paul Jackson said: "Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK.

"This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to inspire many more young people to stick with science and maths subjects in school."

Erik Bonino, chairman of Shell UK, said: "Our business relies on talented scientists and engineers to remain innovative and competitive."

The report was published ahead of the latest unemployment figures which are expected to show another fall in the jobless total. 

Despite a steady trend of falling unemployment, business groups are increasingly warning of a shortage of skilled workers. 

A Government spokesman said: "Whether it's redefining the London skyline or making chocolate bars, a career in engineering can take you anywhere.

"We are joining forces with leading employers from across the engineering sector to design high-quality apprenticeships that give young people the specific skills industry are calling out for."