The UK’s 2017 Autumn Budget was announced earlier this week, stirring controversy with particular revelations and sparking hope for some sectors.
How Will the 2017 Autumn Budget Affect the UK Engineering Industry?
Engineering Industry Growth: Profit & Expansion
Whilst the UK growth forecast for 2017 was reduced from 2% to 1.5%, employment is predicted to rise, with another 600,000 people forecast to be in work by 2022. When combined with a 4.4% increase in the National Living Wage in April 2018 – from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 – UK engineering companies will need to allocate a greater percentage of their finances to hiring and staff investment.
Advances in Engineering Technology
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s 2017 Autumn Budget announced the following investments into transport technology:
£30m to improve mobile and digital connectivity on TransPennine rail route
£540m to support the increased popularity of electric cars, including more charging points
£500m support for 5G mobile networks, full fibre broadband and artificial intelligence
With the government also awarding a further £2.3bn for investment into research and development, this year’s 2017 Autumn Budget positions engineering technology as a close partner with the automotive and transport industries over the next two year
A New Era of Engineering
The 2017 Autumn Budget will help recruit 8,000 new computer science teachers and set up a new National Centre for Computing. This £84m investment in engineering education is a welcome step to attracting more young people into engineering – especially pivotal given the engineering skills shortage sweeping businesses across the UK.
£30m will provide digital skills distance learning courses across a variety of industries, meaning the 2017 Autumn Budget will introduce new audiences to digital technologies and make engineering a core part of life for millions of people across the UK.