New EngineeringUK reveals potential shortfall of graduates after Brexit


This week saw the publication of EngineeringUK’s annual compendium about the engineering industry and education. It suggests that as the global economy evolves and Britain prepares for a new future outside the EU, engineering and technology will play an ever more vital role in driving the UK economy, creating employment, building essential infrastructure and enabling a higher quality of life for all.

The 2017 Engineering UK: the state of engineering report shows some positive signs – an increase in the number of engineering and technology degrees taken in the UK, the highest number of engineering-related apprenticeship starts for ten years in England, and increasing numbers of 11-16 year olds who say they would consider a career in engineering.

But scratch the surface and the report also reveals concerns. It calculates a potential shortfall in the supply of graduates into the UK engineering workforce of about 20,000 a year, perhaps higher. It also highlights just how dependent the UK is on attracting and retaining international talent from the EU and beyond to help meet this shortfall.
The Research Director of CRAC (Vitae's parent organisation) and lead author of the report comments:

“UK postgraduate engineering and technology degrees are potentially very exposed, with up to 80% of current MSc students from overseas and the majority of doctorates. While this constitutes success in attracting international students, such a low proportion of UK-domiciled graduates is quite possibly unsustainable in the long-term. For UK engineering research, these postgraduates are the supply chain – if the UK became less ‘attractive’ or international students less eligible to study, and especially to stay afterwards to work, what would be the impact on our engineering research, or teaching the next generation of engineering students?"