The key to truly resolving the engineering and construction skills shortage lies within the family. We have recently surveyed our engineering and construction candidates and the results provide clear evidence that family members are the best advocates of an engineering career. The results also highlight how vital it is to encourage children to develop their ‘inner engineer’ from a young age. Almost 50% of engineering professionals stated these two factors as the most important influences on their career choice.
Demand outstrips supply
It’s no secret that the demand for skilled engineering and construction employees regularly outstrips the available supply. The war for talent is happening up and down the country as companies and projects all compete for the same pool of candidates.
This situation is only set to continue as a large portion of this supply reaches retirement age and the replenishment rate at junior level is insufficient. This teamed with Brexit and the growth plans for the UK economy set out in the recent industrial strategy, as well as numerous projects already in the pipeline such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C, will put even more pressure on the supply of skilled engineers.
However, the government and many organisations within the industry are tackling the issue. From government led initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Levy, National Funding Formula, Sainsbury Review and Skills Plan, right down to grassroots level where engineering businesses are reaching out to the local community to inspire young people.
Capturing early interest
Resourcing Solution’s survey results highlight that it is vital that these initiatives include a focus to encourage parents (and other family members) to ‘sell the benefits’ of engineering as well as to facilitate engineering or construction based play amongst their younger family members – think Lego, Minecraft, den building, and other outdoor construction to name just a few. This is the way to capture early interests which will then feed into the STEM/engineering based education and apprenticeship programmes of later life.
How could this campaign to family members be delivered? Perhaps a series of social media videos showcasing how a childhood dream was turned into a real career, or engaging with schools, parents and the local community with more engineering extracurricular activities. How about a TV or direct mail campaign which talks to parents about inspiring their children to become engineers. The options are endless…..