UK economic conditions and demographics continue to impact despite growth in new registrations
The Engineering Councils annual statistics report for 2011 shows that the number of engineers and technicians obtaining a professional qualification in engineering continues to grow year on year, despite there being an overall 2% reduction in the total number on the register during 2011. The 6.85% increase in new Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), Chartered Engineer (CEng) and ICT Technician (ICTTech) registrations during 2011 further builds on the significant 26.9% rise seen during 2010.
The report also shows that the number of professionally qualified engineers and technicians on the register aged 60 and over has now risen from 37.4% in 2010 to 39.4%, reflecting the ageing population of the UK.
Jon Prichard, CEO of the Engineering Council says: “The need to continue attracting new entrants to maintain the skills pipeline is vital if we are to meet the demands of future national needs, and to avoid experiencing the significant skills shortages in key sectors that occurred when we emerged from the last recession. The current financial downturn has inevitably resulted in a short term reduction in the demand for professionally qualified engineers, despite all of the recent skills forecasts identifying a medium term need for a highly skilled and professionally qualified workforce. An on-going commitment from employers and individuals to professional development and professional registration is one of the measures that can help mitigate future shortages.”
The Engineering Council is therefore working with the Professional Engineering Institutions and other partners to boost awareness and understanding of the value of becoming professionally qualified.
“It is pleasing to see that the UK Government has also now acknowledged both the central role engineers will play in rebuilding the economy and the need for sufficient highly skilled and professionally qualified engineers and technicians to achieve this,” adds Jon Prichard. “The engineering profession today has a key role to play in tackling many global challenges, such as climate change or the need to become a low carbon economy through better use of resources and energy. It is also at the forefront of developing new medical solutions and new communications technologies that will offer significant benefits for future generations.”