The engineering, IT and technology sectors are at present the fastest growing sectors in the UK . Because of increased competition, companies in these fields are finding themselves forced to innovate to stay ahead of the game. Consequently many are expanding and having to recruit faster than ever.
This is good news for professionals in these fields, as engineers, IT and tech experts are now the most in demand workers in the UK.
In this article we explore the sudden need for engineers to replace the ageing engineering workforce and investigate how the disruptive tech market is forcing companies in this space to invest in additional specialist tech experts.
The engineering industry
Engineering plays an essential role in the UK’s economy, and in 2017 generated around 26% of the country’s GDP. However, despite the industry as a whole booming economically, it is also facing an engineering skills shortage.
In December we wrote an article discussing the current problems associated with the industry’s ageing workforce, where the average engineer in Britain is 54 years old. As a result, with an average national retirement age of 65, 50% of the entire engineering workforce could be set to retire by 2020. As a result the sector is facing a massive skills gap that is needing to be filled urgently.
To make matters worse, on top of this there has been a shortage in engineering graduates over the past 10 to 15 years, meaning companies can’t replace engineers leaving the industry quick enough, widening the gap. According to Engineer UK approximately 182,000 additional engineer graduates are needed per year until 2022.
Sir James Dyson has decided to tackle the skills shortage himself and is launching his own private university, the Dyson Institute of Technology, to ensure he is training up enough graduates to take over jobs at Dyson.
Additionally, not only is there a lack of engineers to fill current vacant roles, there are also many new engineering projects in progress which will create further demand over the next few years.
One area that is notably thriving is infrastructure engineering. British infrastructure projects are estimated to create a demand for 150,000 engineers by 2020 thanks to high-profile projects like HS2 and Hinkley Point C.
The Aerospace industry is also an area of fast growth and is expected to create 100,000 new jobs in the next 15 years.
The IT and technology industry
An industry that is growing at an even faster pace than engineering is the IT and technology industry. Since 2011, £28 billion has been invested in this sector and, as a result, the digital economy is growing approximately 32% faster than the economy as a whole.
This influx in investment has enabled a great deal of technological change and advance over the last few years and made the UK the European hub for tech companies. Subsequently companies such as Google and Facebook are now setting up their new headquarters in London.
Furthermore, on average one tech startup is born every hour in Britain, ready to disrupt the market. The nature of the disruptive tech market is pressuring tech businesses to keep innovating to avoid becoming obsolete overnight. For example, the rise of Artificial Intelligence is predicted to completely change the tech industry in the next decade. Other big growth areas are Business Intelligence and Data Science. And to keep up, companies are recruiting more and more tech experts.
It is predicted that there will be a rise in demand for cloud specialists, app developers and algorithm experts. Another prediction is that there will be an increase in demand in cyber security professionals, with the rise of Cyber-crime creating 3,500 additional jobs over the next two years.
All in all, if you are an engineer in IT or tech then this is a great time to be looking for a new job. Alternatively, if you are looking for career change, looking for jobs in these sectors could be fruitful.
If you need any help and advice regarding moving jobs or changing career paths then contact CK Technical, the UK’s leading technical recruitment company.