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Does diversity in engineering exist in the UK?

According to a new survey by the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology , 61% “of he engineering and technical workforce said recruiting staff with the right skills was a barrier to achieving their business objectives over the next three years.”  With almost two thirds of respondents looking for recruits with some form of STEM background, the question should be raised as to what these future employees may look like.  Unfortunately, based on survey results, the future of STEM may look exactly like the today’s industry.

The survey reports that just “over one in ten (11 per cent) of the UK engineering and technical workforce is female, while only 15 per cent of firms made particular efforts to attract and retain women in engineering and technical roles. Plus, 87 per cent of companies surveyed did not have LGBT or black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) diversity initiatives in place.”  This is a crushing blow to diversity in engineering as it shows that inclusion numbers are low and that there is no current strategy around improvement.

This lack of improvement may hurt the industry soon as the “majority of businesses (78 per cent) said digital technologies and automation will advance rapidly over the next five to 10 years.”  With such a clear skills gap and no plan to expand STEM education in order to meet this gap, the UK may be quickly approaching a huge resource gap in engineering in only the next 5 years.

Articles like these are the reason why we at Supplierty News promote diversity so hard.  It’s entire resource group(s) that are inadequately funded and educated and ultimately, lead to skill shortages if ignored.  Hopefully this turns around for the UK, but there is little hope that it will.


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