The downward trend in registered engineer and technician numbers levelled out in 2012, according to the Engineering Council.
The Engineering Council’s annual statistics report, issued yesterday afternoon, also showed there has been a year on year increase in new registrants in the past five years, while last year the numbers lapsing their registration also decreased.
The largest growth in new registrants in the 12-month period was seen at technician level, where there was a 21.5 per cent increase in the number of new Engineering Technicians compared to 2011 with registrations over the past five years increasing by 132.3 per cent.
New Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer registrations also show a steady rise, but while he welcomed the figures, Jon Prichard, CEO of the Engineering Council, urged caution.
He said: “The challenge for the coming years remains one of making sure that the UK retains sufficient highly skilled and professionally registered engineers and technicians to meet the needs of the future.
“To achieve this, we must continue to focus on growing the pipeline of potential engineers and technicians while ensuring that they subsequently progress to professional membership with an appropriate institution.
“We also need to pay equal attention to the retention of registered members for the whole of their working lives. This is especially important, given that 39.88 per cent of registrants are aged 60 and over, which could lead to a future shortage of engineers with the competence and commitment necessary to meet society’s needs.
“On a more positive note, after the dip experienced following the introduction of higher tuition fees in 2012, the number of graduates entering the profession in 2013 has begun to pick up again and the current increasing interest in apprenticeships will no doubt help to attract more young people into engineering.”