Between 2015 till date, engineering has grown exponentially in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe as a whole. This growth in the range of a 6% rise in number of UK engineering enterprises within the past couple of years has gone on to prove just how relevant to the economy engineers and the science they practice have come to be. Without doubt, the engineering field reveals a high tendency to be the solution to curb many of the United Kingdom’s challenges, majorly in the aspects of managing employment rates. Already, statistics reveal that about 19% of the total workforce of the UK are employed in the engineering sector with women comprising almost 9%.
While 2018 has without doubt seen a significant push for engineering in the UK. Following the government’s activities to raise awareness regarding the industry in the UK and inspire the future generation of engineers, the industry still however shows lapses which would have to be covered in the coming years to maintain an effective and impressive level of significance and penetration of the industry practices across the UK.
With regards the future of engineering across the UK in 2019 and years to come, it is worthy to note that the connotation of engineers being geeky men in high-visibility jackets and hard hats is fast changing. Engineers are now getting involved in futuristic projects, from 3D printing to robotics and blockchain technology. These new approaches would fast reshape the face of the engineering profession in the coming year.
According to a research published in EngineeringUK, there is a perceived increase in the demand for engineers in the coming years. Although there is currently an annual shortfall of up to 59,000 engineering personnel to fill core engineering roles, this increase in the demand for engineers is expected to boost the economy of the UK by an additional £27 billion per year with about 203,000 people possessing Level 3+ engineering skills being needed every year to meet demand through to 2024.
Three major sectors in the engineering industry happen to be renewable energy, railway and tech. However, in the coming year, there will be more acknowledgement given to diverse areas of the engineering industry such as big data with an expected employment rate of 157,000 new jobs by 2020. Also, with projects such as the Crossrail 2 as well as the High Speed Two (H2S) which aims to meet the United Kingdom’s high demand for travel by linking London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester already in motion, we can expect at least between 7,200-15,000 engineering and technical workers needed in high speed rail by 2020.
Engineers are also commercialising space flight, producing robotic limbs, medical vaccines and also developing autonomous cars. These alongside other developing prospects puts the industry in a very healthy position and with a very promising future in the years to come. From implementing important infrastructure such as better designed cities and railway networks to playing vital roles in sustaining the environment, the role of engineers in the near future can neither be overemphasised or ignored.