Industry Profile: Manufacturing & Engineering


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An overview of the engineering and manufacturing industry:

The manufacturing and engineering industry is varied and produces goods in all sorts of industries. It is vital to the economic performance and reputation of the UK.

The UK’s manufacturing and engineering industry is respected on a global scale: the quality of goods produced in the country is usually of a high standard and commands higher prices due to this established acknowledgement of quality.

UK Manufacturing

  • UK manufacturing organisations employ 2.6 million people
  • Manufacturing accounts for 10% of the UK’s GVA (Gross Value Added)
  • The industry is responsible for 44% of the country’s exports
  • In 2014, the UK’s top 3 countries for exporting goods were USA, Germany and France
  • On a more local level, in the East of England 287,200 are employed in manufacturing and output accounted to £14.1billion. This forms approximately 10% of the UK’s manufacturing output.

UK Engineering

  • 4 million people work within the engineering industry
  • The industry is responsible for just under 25% of the UK’s turnover
  • With the high importance of the engineering industry, it is projected that the UK requires around 1.9 million employees with key engineering skills by 2022
  • A key initiative being rolled out by the Government to aid this skills development is raising awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Our Career Map profile for the engineering and manufacturing industry includes:


What type of organisation can normally be found in engineering and manufacturing?

Manufacturing and engineering can encompass a wide range of organisations, from food manufacturers to car manufacturers.


What sorts of career opportunities are there in engineering and manufacturing?

All types of careers are available in the manufacturing and engineering industries – not just the practical roles.

Typical manual roles in these industries include:

  • electrical and mechanical engineers
  • quality assurance roles
  • line operatives
  • maintenance engineers
  • and many more.

Like all businesses, it is essential that all functions contribute to the overall success of organisations. As a result, roles within:

  • HR
  • finance
  • marketing
  • and sales are to be expected and these can offer rewarding career opportunities.


What skills are highly sought after in the engineering and manufacturing industry?

With engineering being so vital to the UK’s economic performance, it is no surprise the Government are promoting STEM subjects within schools to ensure the industry keeps performing. In today’s market place, talented electrical engineers appear to be difficult to find.


What industries are similar or demand similar skill sets?

Depending upon the career path of an individual, skill sets can be transferrable from the manufacturing and engineering industry into others.

In particular, roles within finance, sales, HR and project management would provide a straight forward skills transfer. It may prove trickier for, say, an electrical engineer to operate in a completely different environment; however, it completely depends on what skills and expertise an organisation is looking for.


Any advice for those applying to a job in this industry?

If applying for roles within the manufacturing and engineering industry, it is essential you can apply theories and models to real life experience. During interviews, a senior engineer may wish to test your thinking on equations to best solve engineering problems in a methodical and accurate way.

Otherwise, standard interview preparation such as company research, role research and career development discussion should be at the forefront of a candidate’s mind prior to an interview.


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