We use cookies. About our cookie policy

5 reasons to work in automotive engineering

Posted by on

5 reasons to work in automotive engineering

Accelerate your career in this changing industry

Automotive engineering is evolving. The image of greasy overalls and oily spanners is giving way to the rise of electrification, search for alternative fuels and development of innovative technology like connected and autonomous vehicles.

Here we look at reasons to be part of this exciting, modern industry - whether you’re a graduate or school/college leaver looking for an apprenticeship.


1. The UK automotive industry is booming


The UK is the third largest car producer in Europe (and the second largest of luxury vehicles), so there are plenty of employers looking for top engineering talent - from manufacturers to design and R&D centres.

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimate that automotive manufacturing provides 186,000 jobs, and the wider automotive industry over 856,000.


2. There’s a shortage of automotive engineers

According to the Automotive Council, there were up to 5,000 unfilled vacancies in the sector in 2016 - with automotive engineers the hardest to recruit.

The government has set up the Automotive Industrial Partnership to try and attract more young people to the industry, as well as pledging to support more and new engineering apprenticeships.

At RHL, we experience the skills shortage first hand. Every day, we help automotive clients recruit talented engineers with skills ranging from using specific CAD packages through to developing complex battery systems.

So whether you plan to work on design, production or R&D, the answer is clear: the skills shortage in automotive engineering may be good news for you.


3. There’s a shift in focus to electric vehicles

The rise of the electric vehicle is transforming the automotive industry. In a bid to create vehicles that are safer, cleaner and more sustainable, manufacturers are changing focus from the internal combustion engine towards electric motors and batteries (or hybrid).

In fact, it’s estimated that vacancies in electric automotive are now cropping up three times faster than vacancies in traditional automotive.


4. Automotive is the place for emerging technologies

Are you interested in shaping the cars of the future? As well as the rise of electrification, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) bring more exciting changes.

The government estimates that by 2035 there could be around 6,000 direct UK jobs in the production of CAV technologies, and 3,900 more created in the supply chain.

It’s thought that 70% of these new jobs will be in software-related industries and 30% in CAV hardware production - so there are lots of opportunities around the corner.


5. There’s a drive for a more gender-diverse workforce

Engineering has long found it hard to attract female engineers. In fact, a survey in 2017 indicated that just 11% of the engineering workforce is female.

But when it comes to automotive engineering, there are signs that more is being done to attract and retain female engineers. Apprenticeships are a particular focus, with initiatives including:

  • Nissan’s government-supported scheme ‘Your Life’ which hopes to attract more women to engineering careers.
  • Volkswagen’s specific initiative as part of its apprenticeship programme to encourage female engineers starting out.
  • WISE, which campaigns for gender balance in science, technology and engineering, which has launched an apprenticeship ‘toolkit’ with ICE and Semta.

Whether you’re male or female, having a diverse workforce benefits everyone with new ideas and stronger networks. It’s a way to fuel a booming UK automotive industry - and your career potential - for years to come.


Get in touch

At RHL, we have strong relationships with leading automotive businesses nationwide. Find out more and contact us to talk about current vacancies here.