Shortage of engineers could curb global economic growth

Posted on 26 Mar 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Economic growth could slow down if the rising gap between demand for and supply of engineers is not addressed globally, new published research warns.

Economic growth could slow down if the rising gap between demand for and supply of engineers is not addressed globally – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

The findings, which discussed a range of engineering issues with 10,000 people across 10 countries, highlight the reliance on engineering to drive global economic growth, with a clear increase in demand for engineers in many countries.

According to The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize) ‘Create the Future Report’, markets including the UK (63%), US (59%), China (63%), Germany (62%) and South Africa (67%) all stated demand for skilled engineers was higher than the supply of jobs.

The report revealed that overall more than half of those polled (53%) felt there was a demand for skilled engineers which wasn’t being matched by supply.

The results have been released on the same day that the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering announces the opening of public nominations for the 2019 QEPrize, with the winner/s to be announced early next year.

Now entering its fourth cycle, the QEPrize celebrates the very best in international engineering. The prize team are delighted to welcome six international experts to the highly prestigious judging panel:

  • Professor Jim Al Khalili, Professor of Public Engagement in Science, University of Surrey, journalist and broadcaster (UK)
  • Professor Mary Boyce, Dean of Engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University, New York (USA)
  • Professor Jinghai Li, Vice President, Chinese Academy of Science (China)
  • Ilya Marotta, Executive Vice-President of Engineering and Programme Management, Panama Canal Expansion Project (Panama)
  • Dr RA Mashelkar, President, Global Research Alliance and Chairman, National Innovation Foundation – India (India)
  • Professor Henry Yang, Chancellor, University of California, Santa Barbara (USA)

The judging panel is tasked with identifying the engineer/s responsible for a ground-breaking innovation that has been of benefit to humanity

Previous winners include:

  • The creators of the Internet and the World Wide Web – Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen (2013)
  • The inventor of slow-release controlled drug delivery systems – Robert Langer (2015)
  • The creators of digital imaging sensors – George Smith, Michael Tompsett Nobukazu Teranishi and Eric Fossum (2017)

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, said: “The findings of the Create the Future Report highlight the public’s understanding that we do not have the requisite engineering skills to match both demand and our rate of innovation.

“This under supply of engineers will hinder long-term global economic development.”

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