A new report claims more than half a million engineers and manufacturing workers will be needed over the next eight years in industries ranging from transport and construction to aerospace and defence.
Research published today by EngineeringUK, which promotes the industry, highlights barriers to achieving the figure, including a rapidly diminishing pool of talent, a fall in engineering lecturers and fewer students studying for manufacturing and engineering degrees.
The report predicts that over 350,000 skilled workers will be needed in the transport sector by 2017, the construction industry will look to recruit almost 400,000, while 1,000 new apprentices and graduates will be required every year until 2025 to replace nuclear workers.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “We are calling for Government, business and education providers to work together to develop a clear road map for the UK engineering sector.
“Tax breaks and other regulatory incentives for small and medium sized enterprises will play a significant part, but what really matters is a long-term strategy, detailing all major infrastructure projects for the foreseeable future and inspiring UK engineering with the confidence it needs to invest in new skills and technologies.
“Without the coherence and stability a clear roadmap will bring, the UK will not only miss out on the high-level manufacturing skills it needs to get the economy back on track but could also lose ground to other countries in many highly-competitive global markets.”