Advanced engineering is the second largest sector in the south west.
The sector has three principal components:
- Aerospace is the largest sub-sector in employment terms, accounting for almost a third of all employment positions in the advanced engineering sector. 9 out of the 12 largest aerospace companies have major facilities in the south west, supported by upwards of 700 supply chain companies.
- The automotive sub-sector is mainly concentrated in the Swindon area and is made up of a large proportion of vehicle part and sub-assemblies, mainly supplying companies across the rest of the UK and Europe.
- In the measuring instruments and bio medical devices sub-sector the region has particular strengths in healthcare products and research and development. There are concentrations of employment in this sub-sector across the region, notably in Gloucestershire.
Recent research has identified skills shortages in the advanced engineering sector (listed below). These represent opportunities for graduates; it stands to reason that if you can develop the skills that are in short supply, you will enhance your employment prospects
The main specific skills perceived as lacking in engineering employees in the south west include:
- CNC machine operations
- Computer aided design
- Computer aided engineering
More general skills gaps in the sector for the south west include:
- IT skills
- Key / core skills
- Management skills
More generally, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) predicts that there will be a growing demand for intermediate and higher level skills across the sector.