UK is fertile ground for engineering, construction and manufacturing jobseekers
According to the 2015 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey, half of British firms are experiencing or expecting a shortfall of experienced STEM staff within three years. The survey suggests that demand for highly skilled workers runs at 74% for engineering and science, 73% for construction and 69% for manufacturing jobs. This reveals the value of graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths, as 40% of British employers prefer graduates to have these skills. However, while the UK government is aiming to create more apprenticeships to upskill the workforce, this won’t come in time to meet the country’s present needs.
While immigration has become a politically sensitive issue in recent years, with the number of visas issued to non-EU nationals quite restricted despite the great need for skilled workers in a number of key industries, the UK is a great place for EU workers to look for opportunities in engineering. As we mentioned in a recent article, 88% of British mechanical engineering companies employed foreign staff in 2014, and as an English speaking country, workers across Europe can expect to find jobs with relative ease. As you might expect, it’s also a great time to be a British engineer looking for jobs, whether you’re an experienced professional or have recently graduated.
Meanwhile, several major civil engineering projects are currently ongoing, with more planned for the future. Current projects include an engineering scheme to protect Leeds from flooding, Crossrail underneath London, and a new bridge across the Firth of Forth in Scotland. There are good prospects for civil engineering in the next decade too, with the British government planning on upgrading railways and roads across the country, as well as the major HS2 rail project between London and Birmingham and beyond, and the possibility of a third runway being constructed at Heathrow. There is also considerable demand in the construction sector in Britain with the amount of homes constructed each year lagging behind demand, and the Conservative government aims to make manufacturing a key driver of the British economy in the future. All in all, analysis by the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests Britain will need more than a million new engineers and technicians by 2020.
All of this means that Britain may be in desperate need of skilled engineers for years to come, and while this may be bad for the British economy, it’s great for job prospects and for wages. The average wage for an engineer under the age of 30 in the UK is currently £32,233, with the average senior engineer earning £42,500 a year, though it’s possible to earn much more.
You can look at all of our engineering positions in the United Kingdom here.