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Is a Recruitment Revolution Required in the Engineering Industry?


A recent report issued by Costain and the New Civil Engineer (NCE) is suggesting that a recruitment revolution is required within the engineering industry. In order to meet future goals and keep pace with a continuously advancing world, then changes need to be made within the talent supply chain for the engineering sector. Government, industry and further education services should all be involved in delivering this revolution so that the world of engineering and continue to evolve.

New Wave of Infrastructure Plans

In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond announced an infrastructure splurge. £23 billion has been allocated between 2017 and 2022 to create a ‘National Productivity Investment Fund’. This will be spent on housing, research and development, with between 1 and 1.2% of GDP from 2020 to be dedicated towards economic infrastructure. The money will be split across various big projects, including the creation of up to 100,000 new homes in high demand areas, 40,000 additional affordable homes and more. It represents a big investment, and to meet it an influx of quality talent is required.

Diverse Skillset Requirements

Not only is there a need for increased recruitment, but also a more diversified recruitment drive. The engineering industry is changing and in order to meet new challenges and opportunities it requires more than traditional engineers to be recruited. Experts in big data, social scientists, planners and many more will all have a future part to play in the sector. Therefore, recruiters need to look outside the regular pool when filling engineering jobs.

Existing Graduates

There are many opportunities to create a pool of talent for the engineering industry from existing graduates. Research has found that a third of civil engineering students go into non-civil engineering jobs. If they are being trained to work in the sector, then it seems like such a waste for them to be lost. Another opportunity is with the British army reducing its numbers, which could lead to many entering the industry thanks to possessing transferrable skills.

Apprenticeships and Investment

To kick-start this revolution, further investment in recruitment is required. There are plans to open up more engineering apprenticeships to fill specific gaps in the sector and speed up recruitment too. Other financial challenges exist due to ongoing Brexit struggles, government budgets and more, but a recruitment revolution in the engineering industry could overcome all of these and provide a real boost to the sector.