Latest statistics reveal the importance of engineering in the UK

An increase in technological developments makes engineering one of the largest sectors in the UK today. As it merges increasingly with other sectors such as IT, energy and medical, the industry provides new job roles that may not have existed previously.

A new report released on 2nd March entitled ‘Assessing the economic returns of engineering research and postgraduate training the UK’ by the Technopolis Group highlights the contribution engineering makes to the nation’s economy and our everyday lives. It is estimated that engineering related sectors contributed £280 billion in gross value added, the equivalent to 20% of the UK’s total.

An additional Technopolis review estimates that UK businesses invest £9.5 billion per year in engineering research and development. It is planned that government bodies will be planning to spend £1.5-3.1 billion on engineering research through a wide variety of programmes run by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Aside from the financial benefits that engineering brings to the UK, the report also reveals the importance of engineering in key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, software and aerospace. In these sectors, graduate employment is higher than in other industries and as a consequence, higher levels of innovation, activity and productivity are also reported. This is great if the UK is to sustain its development. 

The document concludes by highlighting the quality of engineering research and facilities within in the UK and businesses’ attraction to high-tech investment worldwide.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering commented on the report saying, “This demonstrates the enormous quality and scale of the contribution that engineering research makes to the UK economy…Technological advances increasingly drive economic growth and increased public investment in engineering research is essential if we wish to keep pace with our global competitors.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Chief Executive added: “Engineering touches many more areas of modern life than people might imagine. New discoveries and developments that cross disciplines mean engineering and engineers are absolutely essential to providing solutions to the challenges we face, nationally and globally.” 

This joint report shows benefits of research, innovation and discovery. However, if this is to be maintained, the engineering industry must be prepared for long term sustainability. Recruiting qualified engineers are essential in providing solutions to new challenges the industry may face, both nationally and globally.

Austin Fraser is an award winning, specialist IT and Engineering recruiter who specialise in sourcing specialists. It's our mission to break the perception of 'stereotypical recruiters' and demonstrate that recruitment, when done well, is an excellent and consultative process. 

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