Recruitment up in engineering sector

Businesses in the engineering and technology sector are continuing to expand and recruit new staff despite the gloomy state of the economy, according to research published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The IET’s annual skills survey of 400 companies across the engineering and technology sector reveals that nearly two thirds (62%) of all companies interviewed cited business expansion as a reason for recruitment.

In addition, a high proportion (63%) of companies expect to recruit staff this year. By sector this ranges from 90% in civil engineering, 78% in energy, 73% in defence and aerospace, 72% in electrical and 70% in electronics.

Although companies are primarily recruiting from the UK (94%), the European Union remains the second largest source of recruitment. And much of this recruitment (31%) is from the newer member states.

Robin McGill, IET chief executive, said: “Unlike other surveys, ours is entirely focussed on engineering and technology, so the results give a clear view of what is happening just in this sector.

“The survey shows that, although economic predictions are becoming increasingly pessimistic, engineering and technology is a vibrant, expanding sector which is creating new jobs and there is a strong demand for new skills.

“There is still a major need to change the image and profile of engineering and to improve education and in-school activities. The IET will continue to work with governments and education providers to address these issues to ensure we have a suitably qualified pool of young people entering the profession every year.”