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Engineering skills shortage needs some girl power! - Careers

Engineering in the UK is currently threatened by a skills shortage that is putting 64% of engineering employers at risk. Given that engineering contributes around 26% of the UK’s GDP and that the UK has fewer female engineers than anywhere else in Europe.  

Engineering goes way back.... 

Engineering has existed since ancient times as humans devised fundamental inventions such as the lever, wheel, pulley and wedge. The decline of interest in engineering with girls can often be a result of a lack of encouragement or exposure to the topic. A major skills shortage is upon us and even though we find ourselves in an age where we can be proud of gender equality, engineering continues to remain a predominately male dominated industry. The sad fact is, if the imbalance is not addressed over the next decade then the UK’s reputation for engineering could be seriously in question. The demand for engineers is on the rise and is due to rise exponentially over the coming decade as our lives are driven by new technology and the inevitable pressure to secure renewable resources grows. The sector growth is likely to be as much as 40% and engineering will need to recruit 2.2 million candidates over the next 5-10 years to meet the demand. An aging engineering workforce is also increasing the pressure on recruitment.  

Girl power! 

So, the key to the vast recruitment drive may lie with the female population! Year-on-year, young women are matching and even outperforming their male counterparts in science and maths – both are skills required for a successful career in engineering. In addition to a technical mindset, good communication skills are essential and the ability to work effectively as part of a team is a must. Women generally excel in these particular skills. 

Invention and design your thing? 

The discipline of engineering is very broad. It can encompass invention, innovation, design, building, maintenance and research and involve improving structures, machines, vehicles, systems, tools, materials, components, processes and solutions to name just a few. 

Want to be happy? 

On a final positive note, a survey of 300 female engineers found that 84% were happy or extremely happy with their careers! Engineering really is one of the best career paths in terms of job security, reliably securing a higher than average wage and a happy work/life balance.

Have a listen to the positive opinions of some of our recent female Engineering students...

Thinking of cracking into this diverse industry? Find out more about our range of Engineering study programmes and engineering apprenticeships today.

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