How engineering and manufacturing employers and job-seekers can benefit from Enginuity's new Labour Market Information




Enginuity News , Insights


Engunity’s new Labour Market Information (LMI) provides a unique insight into the number and nature of jobs and skills in demand in UK engineering and manufacturing.* Knowing which roles are in the most demand will help employers better understand the competitive context they are operating in, and strategically plan their recruitment. The data also empowers job-seekers and job movers to make informed choices for their future careers and employability.

We know that interpreting and using data can be challenging. So, to best support HR managers, employers, and those looking to enter or move within the sector, we’ve unpicked key insights from the data and provided a useful guide on how to use it.

Overall employer demand up

In 2023 the number of unique annual job postings rose to 2.8 million, up from 1.8 million in 2019. The reason for this increase could be that the number of engineering and manufacturing roles is either increasing or there’s been an increase in staff turnover putting more pressure on employers to recruit. It could mean good news for those seeking employment, but potentially a costly year for employers. It could also signal that the sector is still recovering from recruitment freezes and lay-offs during Covid-19.

In 2023, the most popular month for recruitment was June, with December being the least active month for recruitment. There doesn’t appear to be an obvious seasonal pattern comparing the data with previous years either. For instance, in 2022, March was the most popular year for job postings, and January was the least popular. Without a clear seasonal pattern, the data demonstrates the ongoing challenge HR managers have in planning recruitment throughout the year.

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The South East is a hotspot for employer demand for roles with 137,111 job postings, highlighting its pivotal role as a hub for UK engineering and manufacturing. Localised pockets of opportunity are evident with Manchester and Birmingham showing significant employer demand. Employers can use the regional employer demand heat map to assess the competitiveness of their particular location or region of the UK. The regional map is also useful for job-seekers looking to relocate or assess their location-based perspectives.

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Types of roles and specialised skills demand

Mechanical (and related) engineering was the most sought-after skills set by engineering and manufacturing employers in 2023. 241,000 mechanical engineering jobs needed to be filled amongst 11,200 employers. The data in this chart is useful for both HR Managers and those looking to enter or move within the sector. HR managers can assess which occupation groups are the most competitive in terms of other employers seeking similar/same skills. The most competitive occupations are production managers with 51,000 roles being recruited by 9,400 employers. Interestingly mechanical engineering, although most sought-after skills-wise, was one of the least competitive among employers.

Those entering or moving within the sector can use this data to find out how which occupational areas are the most popular in terms of job postings. It can be useful for planning career moves into less competitive areas and/or for those deciding which occupational groups may offer better chances for gaining employment.

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Job-seekers can also use the data to discover the specific roles most in demand by employers. Aggregated data since 2019 shows that mechanical engineer, manufacturing machine operator, and civil engineer are the top 3 roles employers are recruiting for.

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HR managers can assess which specialised skills (technical and hard skills) are the most competitive, where they are competing with other employers over the same talent pool. The top three most in-demand specialist skills are machinery, project management and mechanical engineering. Machinery alone accounted for 103,000 job postings in 2023 compared to 32,000 in construction. However, auditing, risk analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most competitive in terms of recruitment between employers.  HR managers could use this information to develop upskilling and reskilling strategic plans within their company.

Those entering or moving within the sector can use this data to find out which specialist skills are the most sought after by employers. This information could support re-skilling, upskilling and career moves into less competitive areas and/or for those deciding which areas to specialise in for future employment.

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As a charity dedicated to finding new ways to close skills gaps in UK engineering and manufacturing, Enginuity hopes to continue to share annual changes in demand for different types of roles and skills. Armed with this information, employers can make more informed decisions about recruitment, upskilling and reskilling; and job-seekers and job movers will make better-informed choices about their future careers.

Download the full report

*Labour Market Information was captured between 2019-2023. It is produced using Lightcast Labour Market information on online job adverts or postings, using the ‘common language’ Enginuity created for engineering and manufacturing occupation and skills data.

Download Enginuity's new Labour Market Information (LMI) report for insights into UK engineering and manufacturing jobs and skills in demand.

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