Press Releases 2016

New research reveals importance of engineering construction to UK Plc

29 November 2017/Categories: Media News, Publications, Communicate, Press Releases 2017

A report into the engineering construction industry has revealed the importance of the sector to the UK economy both today and in the future.

The Economic Footprint of the Engineering Construction report is available in full from the link at the bottom of this page.The new research into the engineering construction industry (ECI) – a specialised industry responsible for designing, building and maintaining our critical national infrastructure – reveals an economic footprint that employs nearly 190,000 workers and contributes as much as £325 billion in turnover to the UK economy.
The research into the size and value of the ECI to UK Plc has been carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB). Other key findings in the report show that it pays to work in engineering construction – where the average weekly wage is £631 compared to £439 across all sectors – and that despite a slowdown in the oil and gas sector in recent years, the industry as a whole has been growing – with employment figures rising by 26% between 2010 and 2016 compared to a rise of 15% in overall private sector employment. The study also predicts that this growth will continue, with the ECI set to buck national trends and expand by 17.7% in the next decade, despite broader economic slowdown.

The full report is available for download at the bottom of this page.
Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said: “Engineering construction is a major part of the UK economy but passes under the radar for many people. From oil and gas rigs, nuclear power stations and wind farms, to chemical, pharmaceutical, waste and food processing plants, the engineering construction industry is behind the infrastructure that powers the economy, puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. 

“In light of the Government's Industrial Strategy white paper published this week, this report brings the value of the engineering industry sharply into focus. It highlights how embracing technological innovations and carefully negotiating the potential impacts of Brexit are key challenges for the industry over the coming years - in particular, the industry will need to recruit and retain highly-skilled workers to deliver major planned infrastructure projects. 

“The study also puts the engineering construction industry in the spotlight as a highly attractive and exciting sector for young people who are deciding on their future career path.”Currently the largest engineering construction sector is offshore oil and gas.  But clean energy – such as nuclear and renewable energy, which includes offshore and onshore wind plus also tidal energy and waste to energy power generation – is a rapidly growing sector.

Other key findings from the CEBR’s research include: 

  • In 2016, 744,908 jobs in the UK economy were directly or indirectly related to the engineering construction industry.
  • A quarter (26%) of those working in engineering construction are aged 25-34 with about 14% of the current engineering construction workforce expected to retire within the next 10 years.
  • Among the engineering construction workforce, 92% of employees are men. This is higher than the 50% average across all sectors, and demonstrates how far the industry needs to go to improve its gender balance.
  • The Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution of the engineering construction industry is an estimated contribution up to £100 billion.‘

The Economic Footprint of Engineering Construction’ is the first in a series of reports to be published by ECITB over the coming months on the engineering construction industry and its workforce. It forms part of ECITB’s new labour market intelligence and research programme, which aims to improve understanding of the industry and its skills requirements, as well as identify future and emerging business, technology and skills trends. A report on the makeup of the UK’s engineering construction workforce is set for publication in 2018.


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