The Professional Engineer - Promoting professional engineering

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Career Information


In page ii of their summary (Synopsis) the Engineering UK 2016 Report identifies that 44% of engineering, science and high tech companies are finding it difficult to recruit people with the right STEM skills and that engineering, science , research and technology skills shortage vacancies were the highest of all job sectors in the UK.(See table below)

Although the numbers of students taking STEM subjects is recently increasing figures,including Scotland , for students taking physics has dropped UK wide by 8%.Part of the reason is that England needs 1,000 new physics teachers each year and is only recruiting 200. In Scotland the number of teachers of physics is fewer than for maths or biologyy or chemistry.

There has been, however, a welcome increase in students taking computing, maths, engineering and additional science subjects.

Engineering UK also identify in Section 3 of their report that the industry demand for qualified students with SVQ/NVQ Level 4 (equivalent to HNC) and above in UK engineering companies is approximately 107,000 per year and the UK only produces approximately 69,000 per year.

The Summer 2014  research data from  the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) confirms that job vacancies within the UK Engineering Sector are again  rising substantially, other than in energy and water, whilst job vacancies in many other areas such as banking are beginning to recover from major reductions in the last two years

They predict an increase in overall engineering sector graduate vacancies duirng last year of 19.7% which is good news for those presently at university.

In addition the number of 18 year olds will drop in the UK by 9% between 2012 and 2022. This is also good news for school students as competition for university places in engineering may reduce while demand is continuing to rise (see Part 1 Section 4 of the Engineering UK 2016 Report).

The following table shows the variation in graduate vacancies (source: AGR) over the last 3 years and, in the right hand columm, the average unfilled vacancies 2013-14 from Fig 15.2 of the Engineering UK Report.

2010/11-2011/12 2011/12-2012/13 2012/13-2013/14 2013-14
Energy, Water Utility Company +148% +30.8% -8.5% 11.1%
IT/Telecoms +72.5% +14.6% +23.9% 11.8%
Engineering or Industrial Company +60.2% +10.1% +18.4% 3.4%
Accountancy +1.5% -17.1% +24% 4.8%
Law Firm -16.5% -5.4% +1.7% 5.9%
Banking/Financial Services -23.6% -45.1% +54% 1.4%
Insurance Company -26.5% No Data No Data 5.9%
Investment Bank or Finance Mgt -66.6% 0% +4.6% 1.4%



The employment opportunities and high financial rewards are out there in Professional Engineering for all high school students who take Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM ) as their main subjects although there may be increasingly keen competition for university places as a result.

STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

IESIS works closely with "ScienceConnects" in Scotland who provide impartial advice on a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities to schools, helping staff to identify which opportunities can best inspire young students in STEM.

"Science Connects" coordinates a STEM schools Ambassador Programme and offers companies and individuals the opportunity to work with your school and promote understanding of and careers in related subjects. See also their excellent web site and ask your teacher for advice.