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Sector profile

  • London accounts for 3% of all engineering employment and 7% of all engineering establishments in Great Britain.
  • The engineering sector in London employs 44,200 people in 4,390 establishments.
  • The largest sectors in terms of employment are metal products, electronics and mechanical equipment.
  • 97% of engineering establishments in London employ less than 50 people.
  • Engineering employment is geographically concentrated around Barking and Dagenham, Hillingdon, Ealing, Hounslow, Wandsworth and Enfield.

Workforce demographics

  • 92% of the engineering workforce in London is employed on a full-time basis.
  • 80% of the engineering workforce in London is male.
  • 31% of the engineering workforce in London could be classed as non-white (6% for UK engineering).

Recruitment and skills

  • Over 3,000 people were recruited into the engineering sector in London during March 2006/07, representing 6.8% of total employment compared to 7.7% for engineering in Great Britain.
  • 11% of engineering establishments in London had hard-to-fill vacancies over that period (17% for UK engineering).
  • The main reasons cited for hard-to-fill vacancies were a lack of applicants with required qualifications and skills and a lack of applicants with required work experience.
  • 14% of engineering establishments in London reported skill gaps, slightly less than the proportion within the UK (21%). The incidence of reported skill gaps within the region ranges from 16% of mechanical equipment establishments to only 6% of other transport equipment establishments.
  • 12% of all engineering establishments within London employed apprentices or recognised trainees (22% for UK engineering). However, this varied considerably by size of establishment, ranging from 60% of those establishments employing 250 or more employees to only 4% of those employing less than 10 employees.

The sciences

The following are the key activities of the region:

  • Therapeutics
  • Contract Research Organisations
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Bio-nanotechnology
  • Food, environment and renewables
  • Agricultural bioscience

Source: Semta LMI March 2010 and London Engineering Skills Balance Sheet Executive Summary 2008