Is there a deficit of engineering principle as a result of the UK skills gap?


It is widely acknowledged that the UK skills gap in engineering and especially manufacturing is impacting national manufacturing in a post millennium Britain. This study explores how the engineering skills shortage, from both a practical and theoretical standpoint, is impacting upon the availability and utilisation of engineering labour in addition to considering what appear to be shortcomings in education and training with respect of in meeting the skills gap. The research conducted in this study aims to make recommendations as to how the educational system and workplace training can be enhanced for engineering trainee’s so as to better cater for the skills required in industry, and therefore enabling greater future prosperity within engineering and manufacturing. This study utilised a mixed method approach to data collection, using questionnaires in order to analyse and identify attitudes of personnel working within engineering and manufacturing sectors. Such attitudes relate to self-esteem and regard for qualified and skilled colleagues, which is dependent on their ability and proficiency. Proficiency is then linked to the chosen route of education and training. Upon completion of the study the research revealed a multitude of attitudes direct from industry. However, due to the small pool size of individuals involved with the survey, a definitive outcome could not be distinguished, but rather a fundamental understanding which offers a premise for further study into the topic in future. Suggestions attained from the workplace survey direct the outcomes to three suggested routes for increasing engineering workforce quality and reducing skills shortage: 

  • Increased availability of apprenticeships.
  • Workplace-relevant and practical focused undergraduate education.
  • Trained Engineers with a balance of practical, technical and analytical skills.


Graduate, Skills Gap, Manufacturing, Engineering, apprenticeships

How to Cite

Edwards, S., (2021) “Is there a deficit of engineering principle as a result of the UK skills gap?”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research 7(1). doi:


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Sam Edwards (The University of Huddersfield)





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