It’s a sad reality, but engineering has seen a drastic shortage in the availability of candidates equipped with the essential skills required across this industry. For years murmurings have been heard from companies unable to recruit suitable candidates owing to a lack of technical or engineering skills.

According to an article in The Engineer, ‘less than half of new engineering recruits have the required skills for work within the industry.’[1]

What? How is this even possible? Surely someone, somewhere has picked up on this astounding fact and is doing something about it?

It would be easy to lay the blame at the doors of Brexit and Covid. However, the country has taken a bit of a bashing over the past few years, but this issue has been going on for longer than these two can be held responsible for.

It starts early, not early as in ‘the dawn of time’ but early as in education. Education in schools regarding a career in engineering is limited. With the focus placed obsessively on Maths and English, other subjects are restricted and without the guidance of an engineering-minded teacher, potential routes into this industry can be overlooked.

Exiting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning seems to have had the ‘Engineering’ part left out and now the Government are being asked to get a firm grip on this issue. Embedding engineering into lessons is the ideal opportunity to engage and inspire – Robert Louis Stephenson, Iron Bridge, the Eurotunnel, and the Pyramids are all jaw-dropping examples of what humans can achieve.

With the Government having promised a focus on green technology, now is the ideal time to be building sustainable industries across the board, but education is not a quick fix. The results of embedding engineering into primary school lessons will take years to realise, plus implementing and training takes time, as does generating the teachers who will inspire this next generation. What is needed is a more robust approach…

Succeeding within the world of engineering should not rely on university degrees. Indeed, degree level education is not suited to everyone, and recognition needs be attributed to team members who start at apprentice level and work their way up.

DFL are proud advocates of recruiting from a wide range of interested, engaged and inspired people who wish to learn, while bringing their own experiences and ideas to the industry.

Exterior lighting is a very niche industry but can offer both creative and technical career paths for individuals. Here at DFL we build individual training plans to suit the needs of our team.

Upskilling and investing time into staff is always a win-win solution and we should not hesitate to provide training when requested or required.

Whilst this is good for our business, we feel that we need to galvanise an industry standard that all leading consultancies support and follow. This allows a diverse range of candidate and job seekers to come into our industry and start to develop their career path.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be starting to further develop our training standards and progression plans to see how we can offer this back to our sector in order to entice, recruit and upskill emerging and existing talent in our industry.

As we do this, we will be looking to key allies and stakeholders to understand their issues and opportunities to ensure our solutions meet the needs of the sector.