Closing the UK Aerospace and Manufacturing Skills Gaps


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Closing the UK Aerospace and Manufacturing Skills Gaps

18 January 2012

A recent report about engineering in the UK in 2012 showed that 63% of UK employers in manufacturing are already experiencing difficulty recruiting individuals with science, technology, engineering & maths (STEM) skills and knowledge. This is despite the fact that the replacement demand and recruitment in manufacturing will rise by an estimated 29% in professional occupations and by 16% in skilled trades occupations by 2017 in the UK.

The UK is also experiencing issues specifically in the aerospace sector. Just over half of those qualifying in aerospace engineering (57.6%) went into an engineering and technology occupation compared with near three-quarters (72.2%) who graduated in civil engineering. For those 425 UK domiciled individuals who qualified in 2009/10 in aerospace engineering, only 145 (34%) went on to work in manufacturing. Other destinations included wholesale, retail, construction, finance and insurance. In addition, aerospace engineering as a degree was less popular for young people than other engineering fields such as civil engineering (1325 graduates).

PRI’s Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Joe Pinto commented “This data only serves to highlight the tipping point of the aerospace industry at the moment: the ability to continually recruit qualified individuals to move the industry forward is becoming a critical concern. Working with industry, PRI is developing a global industry-managed system for qualifying special process aerospace personnel.

“In some special process areas, such as chemical processing or heat treating, no such global qualification system exists. It is the intention of PRI to offer this service through eQuaLified.

“The program offers three levels of qualification. Examinations are taken online and are formal, controlled and documented in accordance with a written practice in order to evaluate and verify the individual’s capability, skill or knowledge.”

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