A brief look at engineering and predictions for the future

As experts in the Engineering recruitment industry, we have an in-depth understanding of the trends, challenges, and demands being faced. By sharing this, we give both clients and candidates a great overview of the industry they work in, and what it could look like in the future. We spoke with Lindsay Hartland, Associate Partner at Huxley, who shared his valuable insight and predictions for the future.

Current trends in the engineering industry

Over the past few years, we’ve seen huge growth in the engineering industry which has led to an increased demand for engineers. And it looks like this isn’t going to slow down any time soon. As stated by the OECD, “Innovation is important to help address global challenges, such as climate change and sustainable development.”

When looking at the current engineering landscape in the UK, Lindsay says, “Product innovation is at an all-time high particularly in some of our core sectors in Automotive, Food, and Aerospace. This is being driven by environmental and consumer demand and expectation.”

The impact of engineering trends

As previously touched upon, the demand for engineers is steadily increasing. However, this is being met with a candidate shortage. According to CTP, 182,000 people with engineering skills would need to be hired each year until 2022 in order to meet demand.

Lindsay explains, “There is an increased demand for the best technical and commercial talent, in an already candidate short sector. A lot of the technology being considered hasn’t even been developed yet, so the very best talent is being required for clients to remain competitive.”

What does the future of engineering look like?

It looks as though the focus on innovation is set to continue. “Cutting edge and unchartered technology development will be at the forefront of all our markets,” explains Lindsay. “Product innovations and excellence, along with the ability to market & sell these products will be the difference between success and failure.”

There’s also hope that more work will be done to improve diversity and increase the number of students who choose to study engineering at further education. In 2016, only 12% of the UK engineering graduates were women, and only 5% of all university applications were for the subject.

And, if things continue to head the way they are, future graduates will need to have the skills that allow them to come in at a higher level, as Lindsay predicts there will be change in job roles. He says, “Some lower level positions will become redundant or automated.” Whilst this might initially seem like bad news, it doesn’t have to be. As Robert Lucky explains when writing for IEEE Spectrum, removing the lower level tasks from employees enables them to focus on other aspects of the job and develop further skills. As such, they’re more valuable to an employer.

Engineering jobs in demand

Within engineering, the demand for a number of skill sets has increased. “Currently there’s a high demand for export sales and global sales professionals that can represent a UK manufacturing business overseas. Also innovation and change management are in demand too,” says Lindsay.

Here at Huxley, we have access to some of the most sought after engineering jobs. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, use our job search and find the role you’re looking for.

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