07 Jun 2024
by APSCo United Kingdom

Engineering skills shortages grow as job applications fall

Skills shortages in engineering have continued to grow, with applications tumbling in April. That’s according to the latest insight from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The data – provided by Veritone Hire – showed a continued downward trend in permanent jobs in for the last three months, with April reporting a 3% fall month-on-month. Contract jobs were also down 11% between March and April 2024. While this is indicative of wider economic trends, the statistics paint a more worrying picture for job applications.

In April, the number of people applying for permanent engineering jobs dropped by almost 40% month-on-month, with an annual fall of 23% also noted. Contract applications also declined, down 44% between March and April 2024.

Ann Swain, Global CEO at APSCo commented:

While we may be seeing a fluctuation in vacancies in engineering which is to be expected in the current economic climate, it is the falling applications that are of more concern. The sector is persistently reporting a decline in people moving roles which exceeds any decline in jobs. It’s clear that the skills gap is growing and with an uptick in salaries in Q1 failing to boost applications, all signs are pointing to a significant talent shortage in the months ahead.”

Addressing this dearth of resources isn’t going to happen overnight. However, as APSCo outlined in its Manifesto, there are a number of crucial actions that Government policy makers need to prioritise for the benefit of sectors like engineering. That includes growing talent through access to more flexible modular training under the Apprenticeship Levy and creating more routes to employment for international workers.