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Autonomous Skills Shortage: Urgent Need for Software Engineers

  • by: Max Snegirev
  • On: 26, Jun 2018
2 min read

The past 12 months have seen unprecedented development in autonomous vehicles manufacturing, and driverless cars in particular: the UK Government plans to launch driverless cars onto the roads in 2021, and industry professionals predict a huge increase in demand for autonomous vehicles in the coming years, with the driverless cars market expected to be worth $7 Trillion by 2050.

New research reveals that 8 million autonomous vehicles with Level 3, 4 or 5 Autonomy will be delivered in 2025, requiring new infrastructure to design and build in a very short timeframe – but with 22% of UK engineering businesses already suffering an urgent engineering skills shortage, how can companies attract the thousands of Software Engineers needed to advance the autonomous vehicles industry?

What is Causing the Shortage of Software Engineers?

The shortage of Software Engineers in the autonomous vehicles industry is caused by multiple factors, which are all underpinned by the lack of young people becoming engineers:

  • Technological Advancements

Fundamental changes in the engineering industry have created a polarising skills gap between age groups: the skills required for engineers two decades ago vary dramatically from those now required for engineering businesses to succeed in the fast-paced, competitive climate of globalisation.

  • Lack of Awareness

Many students and young people are not aware of the vast range of engineering jobs and career paths, particularly in the field of Software Engineering. Young people from diverse groups are especially underrepresented in tech and engineering: just 9% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female and only 6% of UK engineers are from BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds, despite ethnic minority students accounting for 25% of engineering graduates.

  • Mismatched Career Paths

In a January 2018 survey, 67% of graduates said that they now work in a role completely unrelated to their degree, and that their degrees have effectively ‘gone to waste’. With 1 in 3 graduates also unhappy in their current job, students may not be receiving the right career direction to be able to match their skills and aspirations to studying engineering at school or at university level, which locks them out of Software Engineering careers.

How Can Autonomous Vehicles Manufacturers Attract Software Engineers?

Conduct a review of your internal hiring strategy to assess whether your own internal HR and recruitment processes are doing enough to attract, engage and continuously benefit young engineers.

Partnering with a recruitment company that specialises in engineering roles can offer unique insight into the wants, needs and situations of potential engineering talent, to discover what will really attract Software Engineers into your business and create a bespoke plan to reach talent pools at all stages of their careers.

Find out more about VHR’s Automotive recruitment services.

Latest Automotive Industry updates: Discover How Brexit Will Affect the UK Automotive Industry and read the 6 Automotive Artificial Intelligence Trends to Watch.

Read our free white paper on How to Get More Young People into Engineering.

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