The UK economy is set to struggle as figures released today by the Institute of Engineering and Technology show that employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit engineers.
The demand for new engineers and technicians at large firms is high, with 58% of companies looking to recruit, whereas a year ago only 36% were hiring.
The UK’s ability to take on large scale projects like that of the Olympic Park or other world-class centres could be significantly damaged if companies fail to recruit suitable candidates.
One of the main issues for employers is a lack of high-calibre, skilled engineers for top-level posts, and with University applications to Engineering courses down by 3.1% over the last year, the number of graduates entering the sector in the next few years will be on the decrease.
The number of firms planning to hire engineering, IT and technical staff has also increased, with 39% of companies looking to recruit within the coming year compared with just 24% in 2011.
Stephanie Fernandes, Principal Policy Advisor at IET said: “The sector is of huge importance to the economy, typically accounting for a quarter of all turnover in the UK. This new research clearly shows a desire by employers to recruit new staff, but that they are struggling to find the right people.
“The planned recruitment is clearly good news, suggesting increased confidence in the economic outlook, but if firms are unable to fill their vacancies the economy will continue to shrink.”