There has been a lot of media covered that engineering roles are among the hardest for UK employers to fill. According to one survey cited, engineering was high on the list, but according to a second survey, engineering jobs actually top the list of the most difficult jobs to fill so far this year, moving up two places from third position last year.
Alarmingly, according to the Telegraph, engineering has consistently been among the top four difficult jobs to fill for the last six years running.
The Telegraph reported that both a lack of suitable technical skills and a decline in job applications are the biggest reasons why companies find it difficult to fill engineering vacancies. When struggling to find local talent, just under 50% of UK employers widen their candidate search outside of their immediate region.
These reports have come as the number of unemployed people peaked at 2.46m in the three months preceding March, according to the ONS. Even though this was down from the unemployment levels of the previous quarter, the number of people out of work in the long term (for a year or more) rose to 850,000, 20,000 higher than the previous quarter and the largest number since records began.
This news is worrying, and serves to confirm what we have previously blogged about: the UK is facing a talent shortage within the engineering sector. Things must change, and more really does need to be done to encourage school leavers to take up, what is, an incredibly rewarding career. That’s one of the reasons we have been working with the SATRO organisation over the past few years to highlight a career in this field to school children. Have a look at what we’re doing here.