The UK and Ireland Engineering Workforce Study

The first UK and Ireland Engineering Workforce Study examines engineers’ perception of their profession, based on a study of 3,000 members from a range of sectors.

The report reveals a fresh perspective on what it is like to be a mechanical engineer in the UK and Ireland.

It looks at areas in which engineering organisations do well and the challenges they face, including engineers’ reasons for joining or leaving an organisation, the speed of movement from idea to implementation, gender engagement and skills.

Published in partnership with Towers Watson, a global professional services company, the research finds the top reason engineers decide to join an organisation is to find challenging work (58%), followed by opportunities to grow their career (56%), learn new skills (52%) and the salary on offer (42%).

When it comes to pay, 58% of those surveyed say they are paid fairly compared to people in other companies with similar jobs, 18 percentage points higher than the UK norm. However, there are regional variations in the response.

The study also provides insights into the skills that the engineering sector needs, today and in future. The most important is seen as risk management (51%), while the least is leadership skills (45%). Almost two-thirds say they have access to the training they need to be productive in their current position, some 19 percentage points above the UK norm.

Key findings

• Some 75% of engineers feel engaged with their work – 10 percentage points above the global engineering index

• The majority of respondents (70%) feel their organisation has strong leaders, compared with 63% in the global engineering index and 60% in the country as a whole

• The sector fares well around company culture – 64% give a favourable score in this area

• When it comes to reward, just over half (53%) of respondents felt positive, only one point above the global norm, although still 12 points above the UK norm


The report makes three recommendations to employers of mechanical engineers:

1. Review your employment brand and employee value proposition
2. Grow inspiring leaders and effective people managers
3. Support the development of women engineers

Related links

Read the press release about this report.


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