Searching for skilled engineers


In the never-ending debate over engineering skills, the need to inspire the next generation generally gets the most attention.

But while no-one would argue against the critical importance of ensuring a pipeline of future engineers, the need to recruit experienced engineers right now is arguably a far more pressing concern for UK industry.

It’s an issue that affects every level of industry, from the small and medium-sized firms at the heart of the UK’s engineering supply chain, right through to more prominent engineering employers like Dyson and Jaguar Land Rover.

Last year, the business department’s chief scientific advisor, Prof John Perkins, warned that a lack of engineering skills could “constrain” the UK’s economic recovery. And many experts have claimed that the UK will have to rely on overseas talent to meet skills shortages in the next decade.

Are there enough face to face opportunities, such as recruitment fairs, to meet engineering employers?

It’s certainly a worrying problem, but while industry is buzzing with initiatives designed to enthuse young people, there appear to be precious few solutions aimed at tapping into the expertise of those already in industry.

With this in mind, we’d be interested in hearing your views and suggestions on how industry can attract the experienced engineers so critical to ensuring UK industry remains competitive.

Do you feel that your skills are valued? And does industry in general do a good job of communicating its skills requirements? Are there, for instance, enough face to face opportunities – like recruitment fairs – to meet employers beyond your own sector? And are there enough pathways for you to develop your career and move up in the industry?

Your views will help shape our coverage of this critically important issue, so please do let us know what you think in the comments box at the bottom of this article.

Please also take a moment to vote in the poll on the right hand side of this page.