Aerospace is creating more than three times as many new jobs for engineers in the UK than the automotive industry, according to a survey, writes John Cranage.
The figures suggest that carmakers are still struggling a year after the collapse of MG Rover, the company behind the study, engineering staffing specialist Wynnwith, said.
The survey, published a day after Peugeot announced the closure of its Ryton factory with the loss of 2,300 jobs, found that 13 per cent of new jobs are being created in the aerospace industry compared with just four per cent in the automotive sector.
The biggest generator of new posts is electronics, which accounts for 21 per cent of the engineering jobs market.
Wynnwith said the stark contrast between aerospace and automotive in job creation terms is mainly due to stronger export growth among aerospace companies.
"The UK aerospace and automotive sectors have achieved contrasting levels of success in export markets," said Wynnwith director Steve Howard.
"While UK car exports have bucked declining domestic sales, the export success of the aerospace sector has been phenomenal."
Wynnwith attributes that success to the position that aerospace has established in the global skills marketplace.
"The high capital, skills and technological barriers to entry in the aerospace sector puts the UK aerospace industry in an enviable position," said Mr Howard.
"However, with Dubai, India and Singapore all planning to expand their aerospace industries there is little room for complacency."
Airbus, which manufactures parts of its aircraft in the UK, had a record year in 2005 with 1,111 orders compared with its previous record of 556 in 1998. Airbus UK announced the creation of 650 new jobs at its Broughton factory in North Wales to cope with the demand.
In contrast, total UK car production for the domestic market fell by 12 per cent between 2004 and 2005, from 466,994 to 411,194 units.
Car production for export grew by 0.4 per cent over the same period, from 1,179,756 to 1,184,503 units.
Wynnwith says that as demand for skills fluctuates between aerospace and automotive, investment in cross-training initiatives is necessary to enable engineers to move between engineering sub-sectors.