Plant & Works Engineering

Strong engineering industry drives UK productivity

Published:  06 September, 2016

Britain’s strong engineering industry is driving productivity, with benefits across the economy, according to new research published in Engineering UK 2016 The State of Engineering. Engineering is 68% more productive than the retail and wholesale sector, with apprentices making a significant contribution.

The report, produced by Engineering UK to analyse the engineering industry’s capacity and capability for growth, shows that this resilient sector also has a positive impact on other areas of the economy. For every new job in engineering, two more are created outside of the sector and every £1 GVA generated in engineering generates £1.45 elsewhere. However, the gap between supply and demand for people with engineering skills is still large enough to trigger widespread concern for the long term future.

Over 27% of total UK GDP is generated by engineering, amounting to £445.6bn and turnover for engineering has grown by 3.4% to £1.21tn. Employment in engineering has grown to over 5.5 million and the industry now supports 14.5 million jobs overall.

Paul Jackson, chief executive of Engineering UK, commented: “Engineering is a growth industry that has the potential to continue to drive productivity in the UK. This is a great opportunity, tempered only by concern about the need to train many more engineering if we are not to be left behind by countries like South Korea and Germany.”

While Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills, highlighted: “These shortages are compounded by insufficient numbers of young people, especially girls, choosing a career in engineering. I am convinced we will only overcome these challenges if all those with an interest in UK engineering commit to greater collaboration and partnership.”

Engineering UK is calling for collaborative action across government, engineering businesses, the education sector and the wider engineering community to help inspire the next generation of engineers by helping young people from all backgrounds understand the variety, excitement and opportunities presented by a career in engineering.