Two thirds of UK engineering design firms believe there is a problem in recruiting and retaining staff, finds poll

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15th September 2021 08:46 - Engineering

Two thirds of UK engineering design firms believe there is a problem in recruiting and retaining staff: A survey of engineering design firms in the UK has found that 68% believe there is an issue in the sector when it comes to recruiting and/or retaining staff.

The survey was conducted in August 2021 by The Engineering Design Show, largely of firms from the UK. It also found that over half of the survey participants were experiencing skills shortages in the engineering design sector, with 13% believing they will face issues in the future.

When asked about the factors behind the issues facing the industry 'IR35' emerged as the leading issue cited, followed by 'Brexit'. 'Location' was ranked third, followed by 'workplace/employment benefits' and 'the image of engineering as a career'.

Respondents were also asked about the things that they felt were important for the sector, with responses including increasing young people attracted to working in the sector, boosting the number of female design engineers and boosting the number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds working in the sector.

Six in 10 people said that more training for engineers could help address the skills shortages, while 55% said this could be helped by improved education. The same percentage (55%) said that improved government apprenticeship schemes could help improve the skills shortages faced by companies.

While more than a third (34%) said they believe the government should pump more money into the sector with regards to training, just 13% believe that government subsidies would solve the issue.

In terms of how recruitment and retention will look in the future, two-fifths (42%) said they expect the situation to get worse over the coming five years, while 17% are hopeful the situation will get better, and a fifth (20%) predict no change at all.

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