Engineering and manufacturing

Key facts

General UK 

  • Advanced engineering has an ageing workforce and the sector really needs young people. There are skills shortages in most engineering subjects.
  • Engineering and manufacturing have an image problem – young people often mistakenly see them as ‘grimy’ professions linked with old fashioned hard industry. But increasing investment and development of technology means you can often be working in an exciting, modern and well-equipped environment.
  • To work in engineering you really need to like maths and science and to enjoy finding solutions to challenging problems. You also need to be practical and a good communicator and be well organised, resourceful and well motivated. 
  • Today the UK is known for our advanced engineering sector, involved in the most cutting-edge technology in the world. 
  • The UK electronics industry is the fifth largest in the world in terms of production and the UK is a centre for global electronics development companies with major research and development or manufacturing bases

South of England facts

  • Many local engineering businesses offer apprenticeships that help you learn all aspects of the work. Apprenticeships offer excellent opportunities as you get paid while you train - some schemes lead to higher education qualifications.
  • The engineering sector is the second biggest employer in the South West, nearly 130,000 people work in it.
  • Many big companies choose to locate in the South West attracted by the expertise of its universities. For example, the University of Bath is known for its course in automotive and mechanical engineering, while Bristol University is a world leader for research in a range of areas, including aerodynamics and avionics.
  • Oxford and Thames Valley include a number of car manufacturers whilst Solent is looking for engineers for marine and maritime activity.
  • Find out detailed information about employment in the West of England 2015 for ADVANCED ENGINEERING AND AEROSPACE and view West of England Infographics on engineering and manufacturing

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