Seán Harris, Membership Director at the Institution of Civil Engineers, comments on EngineeringUK's State of Engineering 2018 report:
"The reported increases in the uptake of STEM subjects show that real progress has been made but the UK still faces a significant skills shortfall. There continue to be too few entrants into the industry and this, compounded by the uncertainty created by Brexit, is creating further uncertainty around recruitment. This shortage will continue to be exacerbated as new technology continues to transform the infrastructure sector, increasing demand for high-skilled workers. For example, we have the potential to revolutionise our transport networks but this can only be realised if we are able to secure the technically-trained workforce needed to deliver major built environment projects, such as the 7,200 trained engineers needed to work in high speed rail by 2020.
"None of this should be a surprise to anyone in the industry. We have for some time known the scale of the problem and we risk the UK's future economic prosperity and society's wellbeing if we do not take urgent action. ICE, has for some time led the way in dedicating resources to tackling the skills gap, including using its 2018 bicentenary to embark on an ambitious public engagement campaign, but this report shows that there remains much left to do . We are partners in the 'Year of Engineering' campaign and Northern Ireland's 'Year of Infrastructure' programme and will continue to work with the whole engineering community in better understanding the interventions required to tackle the skills shortage."