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No skills? No problem

29 February 2024

In a world where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, the demand for digital proficiency will only continue to grow. As such, the engineering community is becoming increasingly – and uncomfortably – aware that such skills are no longer just desirable, but essential for the long-term prosperity of the industry.

Sophia Bell, Group Editor
Sophia Bell, Group Editor

This issue is particularly pertinent here in the UK. Whilst many realise the benefits of bringing their operations into the digital age, there remains a prevailing culture of, to use the technical term, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The trouble is, with many engineers fast approaching retirement age, this mindset is becoming increasingly untenable. That’s why finding new talent to fill the gap left behind by these knowledgeable, experienced engineers is paramount.

Of course, National Apprenticeship Week took place last month, bringing many examples of enterprising businesses across the UK investing in the next generation of talent. While these are no doubt both impressive and inspiring, it can’t just be individual companies who are taking action; more needs to be done on an industry-wide level to secure the future of UK engineering.

Demand for technology skills surged in 2022, according to new research from Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, and funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). Yet, having emerged from a pandemic-induced slump, many businesses found themselves struggling to recruit the early career talent they needed to match their ambitions for growth.

A promising proposal by DSIT itself may go some way to addressing this issue. 

Read the full article in DPA's March issue

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