Labour Shortage Less Talk More Action

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Labour Shortage: Less Talk More Action

Skills shortage

In our previous blog, we discussed the solutions you could look at implementing in your business. This time we’ll be looking at what the FM and Engineering Industries are doing to help solve the problem long-term. Does your business have a plan in place to secure its future talent pipeline?


Joanne Crampton, Head of Thorn Baker Estates, Facilities & Maintenance

It’s no secret that the Engineering industry is struggling across the board with a skill and staff shortage – we’ve all been talking about it for what seems like an age. In our last blog Labour Shortage: The Real Life Solutions for Your Business we talked about changes you could look at implementing in your business such as:

  • Focusing on why working for your company is great

  • Up your recruitment budget – it’s competitive out there

  • Work with an agency

  • Be flexible

  • Promote your business online

  • Invest in training

  • Look at your benefits package


But, these solutions really focus on attracting people who are already working in FM, Engineering and Maintenance. How do we attract new people into the industry?

A government study said that 186,000 skilled Engineers are needed annually until 2024 to plug the skills gap, and almost 20% of the current workforce is due to retire by 2026 according to the ECITB.

To compete, thrive and grow in an ever-changing industry, new skills are essential, any business looking to compete for staff in this market must look at their long-term plans as well as the immediate issues. A successful apprenticeship scheme will be central to that.

Dr Hilary Leevers, CEO of EngineeringUK said 'Ensuring that we have enough people with the right skills and experience is about bringing a greater number and greater diversity of young people into engineering,'. 'We also need to upskill and reskill the current workforce for the current and future workplace - this includes digital skills and the ability to think and work across traditional disciplinary boundaries.'

Encouraging STEM courses from a young age could help guide young people into engineering careers via the apprenticeship route.

So, what is out there currently to attract people into apprenticeships?


Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Code

Tomorrow's Engineers Code describe themselves as a growing community committed to increasing the diversity and number of young people entering engineering careers.

Great news – how do they do that?

‘Signatories make four pledges about their approach to funding, designing, delivering, and learning from engineering-inspiration activities (including STEM programmes dedicated to inspiring young people into engineering).

Signatories form the Code Community which is made up of engineering firms, professional institutions, government departments, subject associations, universities, museums, third sector organisations and more.’

The common goals are:

  • Share and build an understanding of what works

  • Improve the quality, inclusivity, targeting and reach of activities designed to inspire young people

How do they promote engineering in real life?

Want to find out more?

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to find out more about how your business could get involved, you can do that right here.


Women in Engineering

There are 200,000 more women working in engineering over the last four years – that’s great. But, women still only represent 14.5% of those working in engineering – not good.

Women make up half the population, we should be looking to draw on that talent.

A number of initiatives exist to encourage girls to study engineering:

  • The Women's Engineering Society (WES): The society also offers a mentoring programme for women in STEM and holds an annual awards scheme, WE50, recognising 50 influential women in engineering.

  • The WISE campaign aims to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in STEM by providing support for teachers, staff, STEM ambassadors and students. Its Ten Steps programme helps firms recruit and retain women.



These are just some examples of initiatives that are focusing on a long-term solution for the staffing and skills shortage. Engineering has the potential to offer real career opportunities for young people, whatever their background – we need to let them know what is available to them.

Future talent pipeline is something that we talk about a lot as a team, let us know your thoughts on what’s currently available around the skills shortage. Know of another great initiative? Let us know!