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Engineering

Future Trends

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  • By 2017, 587,000 new workers will need to be recruited into the manufacturing sector.
  • However the profile of workers is predicted to change. Overall, almost 47% of all employees in 2017 will be at associate professional level or higher, compared with just over 32% in 1987.
  • At the same time, a fall is forecast in the number of people working in skilled trades and elementary occupations, as well as among machine and transport operatives.
  • In the aerospace and defence industry, over the next 20 years, close to 60% of the workforce will retire creating a demand for new workers to enter the sector.
  • An expected decline of employment of some 84 thousand for the chemical industries is in marked contrast to the estimated replacement demands of just over 186 thousand. Replacement demands, for most occupations, for the period 2007-17 are around a third or more of 2007 employment levels.
  • Engineering and technology sectors should benefit from Government support for power generation, low carbon technologies and other advanced engineering projects. In April 2009, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) published Building Britain's Future: New Industry, New Jobs, in which it identified several key technologies that should play a larger role in the economy in the future:
    • Advanced engineering
    • Electronics
    • Biosciences
    • Low-carbon technologies
  • Currently green technologies are worth £3 trillion to the world economy. There are opportunities to develop global, leadership in this sector creating jobs and wealth for the UK.
  • Further investment in biofuel production capacity and growing demand for nuclear decommissioning are expected to cause output growth in the fuel production industries to rise by 2-2¼ per cent per annum over the longer term Policy initiatives by the government to promote the use of biofuels and the investment cycle in nuclear power generation sector are the largest drivers determining demand for this sector in the medium and long-term.
  • Nuclear generated electricity will also have a role to play. Building a new wave of nuclear power plants would have considerable economic benefit and jobs for the UK.
  • The manufacturing sector is projected to expand over the period 2007-2017 in output terms; however in parallel, efficiency is projected to increase at a faster rate.
  • In the longer term demand for pharmaceuticals is expected to continue to be strong as the proportion of national income spent on healthcare tends to increase with wealth and a rapidly aging population.

Projection figures from 'Working Futures 2007-2017' Warwick Institute of Employment Research - November 2008.

Engineering UK 2009/2010 Report.