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640,000 jobs in STEM to be filled by 2023​

02/02/17 Ricky Wilcocks Manager, Electronics & Technology

A new report published by the Social Market Foundation and EDF estimates that a total of 640,000 STEM jobs will be required to be filled over the next six years, with many of these engineering jobs being new roles created within emerging industries. This report highlights the huge career opportunities that exist within UK engineering and technology today, but also the significant challenge the country faces to fill these technical jobs.

Commenting, Stephanie Fernandes from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “In the wake of the Brexit vote and the Government’s ambitious and welcome commitment to invest in science and innovation to boost the UK’s productivity, there has never been a more important time to tackle the fundamental engineering skills gaps and shortages in the UK head on.

“It is also a great time to be an engineer: demand far outstrips supply, salaries are rising and there are fantastic career prospects for tomorrow’s engineers. But we cannot rely on these factors to attract enough engineers to address the growing skills shortage in the UK“.

“We must also take action to ensure a pipeline of future engineering talent, for example by promoting stronger collaboration between employers and the educational system to provide work experience for those in education and training, by encouraging more women and returners into engineering – and by looking at how best to up-skill the existing engineering workforce to meet the fast-changing needs of modern engineering and technology”.

“We also need further clarity from the Government in their proposed Industrial Strategy on how the UK will be able to recruit the anticipated shortfall of engineers needed over the next decade as we move closer to exiting the EU.” The IET is calling on employers, educators and the Government to ensure that opportunities are in place to develop and support the skills needed for the proposed industrial strategy”.

The number of jobs in science, research, engineering and technology (STEM) will grow at double the rate of other careers, providing an additional 142,000 new jobs in the UK between now and 2023.

As the world frets about the threat to jobs caused by robotics and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, the report is upbeat about the prospect of new engineering jobs being created with the demand for increasing number of workers with skills in research, technology and engineering especially software development.

The report also noted the continuing disparity between the number of women in STEM professions, and their male counterparts. Only 19 per cent of STEM jobs are currently filled by women, while 36 per cent of women are graduating in science subjects, compared with 46 per cent of men. This is despite girls continuing to outperform boys in science subjects at school, averaging 74 per cent A-C versus 69 per cent A-C for boys.

Although there is strong future demand for STEM professionals, the report’s authors estimate that there is currently a shortfall of 40,000 science graduates in the UK.

For further information on Engineering and Technical Recruitment and Scientific Jobs, please contact Ricky Wilcocks on 01582 878810 or send an email to