Engineering Today: the Supply and Demand for Engineers in the UK

The latest labour market intelligence report has been published by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. Titled Engineering Today: the Supply and Demand for Engineers in the UK, it analyses secondary data collected from a range of sources to study the characteristics, demographics and education levels of the engineering workforce, from engineers, to technicians and the skilled trades. In addition, the report looks at the future demand and the extent to which the UK has a shortage of engineers. Unlike previous ECITB reports, this study considers the wider labour market for engineers, not just engineers employed in the engineering construction industry.

There are some interesting findings in the report, including:

  • Engineers in the workforce: In 2016, there were just under 465,000 engineers employed in the UK, a 9% increase since 2009.
  • Women in engineering: Almost 9% of engineers in the UK are women (2016), an increase from 5% in 2009.
  • Diversity in Engineering: The industry is over 90% white. There is also evidence that BAME graduates receive lower salaries on average and have fewer employment opportunities.
  • Earnings of engineers: In 2016, the average engineer’s income exceeded £42,000, 49% higher than the average earnings in the UK. Engineering graduates, from apprenticeships and higher education, earned £5,000 more than the average salary for graduates.
  • Engineers in Higher Education: In 2015/16, 38.5% engineering graduates went into engineering professions, the lowest figure since 2012.
  • Apprenticeships in Engineering: In 2013/14 over 90% of engineering apprentices sustained employment compared to an average of 75% for all apprentices.
  • Engineering retirements: By 2026, more than 91,000 engineers, or nearly 20% of the workforce, will have retired or be close to retiring.

This report follows a report the ECITB published in November on the Economic Footprint of the Engineering Construction Industry. Both reports are published as a part of our new Labour Market Intelligence and Research Programme. In 2018, the Year of Engineering, the ECITB will continue to study and analyse the UK Engineering Construction Workforce. Later this year we will publish reports on the future skills requirements of the ECI workforce and how the 4th industrial revolution is impacting skills needs in our industry.

If you have any questions about this report please contact Reuben Overmark, Policy Analyst at the ECITB, [email protected].