Short of options: can the UK engineering industry do more to tempt graduates?

Engineering GraduateUK employers are likely to increase their graduate recruitment effort by just 2.7% in 2013, with similarly low forecasts for the coming year.

On average employers are reporting almost 56 applications for each graduate vacancy, and starting salaries for successful graduate applicants remain unchanged on average from previous years.

However, is this gloomy outlook the same across all sectors of the graduate job market? Perhaps the UK’s engineering industry shows that the picture may not be as bleak for those graduates who have undertaken courses in the fields of engineering and science. Whilst there remains a dearth of engineering graduates emerging from universities to fill the large amount of vacancies created, there are jobs out there in abundance for new applicants.

A recent study by the Royal Academy of Engineering has shown that British industry will require some 100,000 new graduates across science and engineering disciplines, as well as 60,000 new apprentices and technicians through to 2020, and this is just in order maintain current employment numbers.

New emergent industries such as shale gas exploration will likely create thousands of jobs, and the growing need for a larger workforce in the oil and gas industries of the North East are further evidence that Britain is a good place to be a new engineering graduate in 2013.

Despite these positive notes, however, many graduates feel they must pursue narrow recruitment schemes offered by the industry’s major players, and Jon Yew of PayMatters, a company that specialises in helping contractors manage tax compliance and payroll issues, believes a change in attitude amongst UK universities is required.

‘To make the most of a buoyant job market, universities need to do more to make their students aware of the options available to them. Many recent graduates see their only route to working in industry through fighting for places on crowded graduate recruitment schemes. We believe in contracting as a viable way into a lucrative engineering career. Contractors earn considerably more on average than fully integrated staff, and benefit from a level of flexibility in the marketplace than can see them better placed to take fully advantage of potential opportunities.’

PayMatters are APSCo accredited, professional passport approved and are business partners with the Institute Of Recruiters (IOR). PayMatters pride themselves on being fully HMRC compliant from an employers and employees NI, PAYE and expense perspective. For further information please contact Jon Yew, Senior Business Development Manager on 07818 554 041,