23 Jul 2024


Engineering recruitment halves – but future looks brighter

The recession has taken its toll on the engineering and technology sector, but the end could be in sight, says the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The IET’s annual Skills and Demand in Industry report shows that only 31% of employers are planning to recruit staff over the coming 12 months. Last year, the figure was 63%. Of the 400 companies surveyed, 40% said they were concerned about losing their skills base because of the recession.
A third of the companies not recruiting this year identified financial constraints as being the main reason. However, only 12% thought that this would be a problem in two to three years, indicating a belief that the recession may be coming to an end.
The survey also reveals that fewer postgraduates are being recruited for engineering roles (down from 24% in 2008, to 12%).

“Unlike other surveys, ours is entirely focused on engineering and technology and gives a clear view of what is happening in this sector,” says IET chief executive, Nigel Fine (above). “The results show that although financial constraints are preventing many companies from recruiting, it appears the situation will ease over the coming years and that the end of the recession may be in sight. In two to three years, when companies expect financial constraints to have eased, they once again anticipate a skills shortage in the engineering and technology profession.
“Retraining and professional development will be needed to re-engage the skilled engineers lost during the recession,” Fine adds. “Without a concerted effort now, it is likely that the UK will quickly experience a greater shortage of engineering skills than before the recession.”