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- Engineering, manufacturing, technology and construction
- Engineering, manufacturing, technology and construction: future trends
Engineering, manufacturing, technology and construction: future trends
The sector has been experiencing productivity growth, and this is expected to continue in the face of fierce competition from overseas competitors. Innovation in equipment, process and techniques will be necessary in order to keep the UK sector competitive in the face of the lower labour and raw materials costs of many overseas businesses. However, the sector is showing export growth and the signs are that the challenges are being met.
The sector is also experiencing change in legislation and in regulatory environments, and this is creating skills demand, particularly for smaller businesses.
Semta's [the Sector Skills Council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies in the UK] projections point to the need for about 354,000 employees within Semta's sectors in the UK to replace employees retiring during 2010-2016. After taking into account the expected decrease of 122,000 jobs across Semta's sectors over this time period, there will still be an overall net requirement for labour of about 232,000 jobs (around 32,000 per annum). Most of these new roles will be at least A-level or equivalent.
There is expected to be a net requirement for 120,000 jobs across the mature engineering sector, 86,000 jobs across the leading-edge technology sectors and over 25,000 jobs in research and development during 2010 to 2016.
The largest positive net requirements for labour are expected to be for managerial occupations (50,200 people), professionals (38,000 people) and process, plant and machine operatives (32,400 people). Managerial and professional roles will be particularly suited to doctoral graduates and the figures suggest many opportunities are likely to be available in the sector in the next five years.
Focusing on technical roles, there is expected to be a net requirement across Semta's sectors in the UK for nearly 115,000 engineers, scientists and technologists (16,400 per annum) during 2010-2016.
The sector is most likely to report skills gaps for skilled craft and management occupations. Skills most in demand at present are technical, practical or job specific skills. However, the sector also has a shortage of problem-solving, team working, oral communications and management skills, all skills that doctoral graduates can be expected to possess. The sector does, however, report no overall shortage in the supply of suitable higher education graduates.
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