The skills gap in UK science and engineering industries is now an accepted fact of life with companies reporting difficulties in current recruitment of skilled staff. However, an initiative called Industrial Cadets, supported by government and led by major manufacturers, offers the opportunity of engaging future recruits while still at school, thereby developing the future talent pipeline.
British engineering is facing a serious skills shortage. Yesterday, the think tank IPPR published a report claiming that 'an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers will be needed in the UK each year between now and 2020' in order to meet growing demand, but that 'the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates annually'. Well as a starter for ten, that maths doesn't look good.
If you were asked to draw a scientist, what would it look like? An image resembling Einstein, perhaps? Same question; but this time an engineer. Would you draw a man with a spanner? And would a computer scientist look like a guy who's keen on science fiction and junk food, working alone in a dark room?
While there's no doubt that the country has come a long way in terms of gender equality in the workplace, there are still industries where women are significantly under represented. If we look at the engineering sector, for example, only 8% of engineers in the UK are women . In fact, the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.
Increasing evidence and scientific analysis is showing why these events are associated with human induced climate change. The related impacts are becoming more widespread and complex, affecting society from health issues to agriculture, from transportation to economics, and becoming more severe, long-lasting and costly with increasing frequency.
We've learnt recently that although growth in job vacancies hit the fastest rate in 15 years in November this year (the strongest demand being for engineers) and the UK unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2009, the availability of candidates to fill permanent and temporary posts fell in November; a continuation of the recent trend.