The UK offers great potential career prospects to young engineers, but is in danger of losing its competitive edge in the engineering sector according to a new report by GE in the UK. The GE Young Minds Monitor surveyed almost 1,000 lecturers and students of engineering and found contrasting attitudes to the UK’s global standings and future prospects.
A new generation of young engineers, inspired by icons such as Brunel and Dyson, are generally very positive about their prospects in the UK with almost 6 out of 10 claiming the sector is critical to the UK’s economic prosperity. Most believe that engineering technology has a positive image as a career compared with other science disciplines, with a similar number feeling confident they will find a job in the sector when they graduate. However, lecturers are more concerned for the future competitiveness of the UK, seeing a potential brain drain of engineering talent to faster growing nations.
Whilst the majority of lecturers feel the UK has a stronger skills base than other countries around the world, only 13% of lecturers feel that the UK has a growing talent pool to draw on and that further investment, funding and support is needed to help the UK keep its place as an engineering force.
India is currently producing 650,000 engineering graduates a year compared to Britain's 20,000. In order to meet the estimated requirement for 970,000 engineers in Britain by 2017, it is estimated that at least 25,000 new engineering graduates per year are needed.