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Lack of training pushing engineers out of the water industry

A lack of training and opportunities to innovate are pushing more engineers out of the water industry, according to a new study.

The Water Industry Labour Report, published by specialist recruiter Water by Murray, part of Murray McIntosh, revealed a concerning mismatch in training that is hindering innovation and driving engineers into other remits where they feel they have more potential to grow.

According to the report, one in three of the nearly 4,000 engineers surveyed indicated that they are not able to innovate in their roles. They cited ageing infrastructure and rigid managerial structures as the reasons behind the stagnation. However, almost half (43%) said they were not being provided with relevant training.

The findings are of concern given the growing scrutiny and significant shortage of skilled workers the water industry is facing. According to Water by Murray, employers are facing an ‘exodus’ of engineers, with 70% of the existing workforce considering roles in other sectors – an issue which will only be exacerbated by irrelevant training and limited opportunities to innovate.

Teo De La Cruz, Associate Director at Water by Murray, commented

“It’s no secret that the water industry as a whole is going through a challenging time, but this will only be worsened by a potentially growing skills gaps in an already stretched sector. If we are to tackle the growing issues in UK water, there needs to be a consensus over what competencies will be required now and in the longer term.

“The lack of relevant training on offer is preventing innovation. Utilising the creativity and problem-solving of our engineering workforce is one of the ways we can escape this crisis, so it’s worrying to see so many saying they aren’t being provided with the right opportunities. If engineers feel unable to innovate in their roles it’s not surprising that seven in ten engineers are considering leaving the water industry in the coming years. It is crucial that the sector sets itself up for success by first ensuring its people are fully equipped with the right skills and opportunities.”

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