Employers see student work experience as solution to skills gap in engineering

IET, survey, work experience
Developing skills — Naomi Climer.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of engineering employers say that graduates do not have the right skills for today’s workplace, while 68% are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change according to a report* published by the Institution of Engineering & Technology.

To address these growing concerns over skills gaps in the engineering workforce, particularly among graduates and school leavers, 91% of companies agreed that to improve the supply of engineers and technicians, more employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training.

In response, the IET is launching a campaign ‘Engineering work experience for all’ to champion the need for more employers and universities to collaborate to offer quality work experience to engineering students. The campaign is designed to rally employers, universities, Government and students to make a range of different, quality work-experience opportunities more widespread.

Naomi Climer, president of the IET, said, ‘Demand for engineers is high but the report reveals deeper concern than ever around the skills and experience of our future workforce.

‘As we are facing an engineering shortfall in the next decade and some uncertainty around skills following Brexit, it is more important than ever that we develop the next generation of “home grown” engineering and technology talent.

‘One of the biggest challenges appears to be recruiting candidates with the right practical skills, which is why the IET is launching a new campaign to highlight the benefits of employers offering quality work experience to engineering students. Employers and educators must continue to strengthen their working relationships to ensure that the work experience they offer is designed with the skills gaps in mind.’

* ‘2016 skills and demand in industry’

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