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VHR Engineering Expert’s Industry Predictions

  • by: Conor McKeon
  • On: 25, Oct 2019
3 min read

VHR’s new Engineering & Defence recruitment expert Gary Taylor reveals his predictions for the market in 2020 and beyond.

Gary’s Expertise

A former Royal Navy Aircraft Engineer, Gary has over 40 years’ experience in Aviation Engineering and 20 years’ experience in technical recruitment. His specialist areas lie within Aircraft Engineering, Rotary Wing/Helicopter Engineering, Fabrication, Welding, Materials Handling and Composite Technology.

Gary’s background includes extensive work with large airlines, aircraft maintenance, MROs, automotive and composites industry leaders throughout the UK and Western Europe.

Engineering Industry Trends for 2020

Gary reveals his own predictions for the Engineering and Defence industries in the year ahead:


‘Brexit has continued to cause confusion and disruption for the past few years, and regardless of deals and extensions, looks set to cause further upheaval. Many skilled workers originating from the EU have left or are planning to leave the UK, and potential members of the workforce may be deterred from coming to Britain due to red tape and an uncertain future.

‘Amidst the confusion, the UK leaving the European Union will also provide Britain with the opportunity to review its current employment practices and seek new methods to find and retain talent. At VHR, I will be expanding my team to help us provide our clients with greater Engineering & Defence capabilities within the UK.’

Renewable Energy

‘Renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular across industries and geographies, and particularly in the Defence sector. Adnan Z. Amin, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency who has an extensive background in the United Nations (UN), recently declared that “renewables are the defence policy of the future.”

‘As well as reducing costs and increasing efficiencies, renewable technology can improve energy security through innovative transport methods and generating electricity and heat. A recent IRENA report reveals that renewables could change worldwide politics, and therefore global Defence strategies forever: clean energy will dramatically influence global distribution of power, reshape political alliances, realign trade patterns and reduce conflicts between rival fossil fuel producers.

‘In my first few weeks at VHR I have already begun recruiting for multiple Defence roles in renewable energy, and predict that these will be on the rise.’

Manufacturing Sector Growth

‘Contrary to many recent reports and speculations, I predict continued growth and success for UK manufacturing across sectors. Whilst the UK’s manufacturing industry makes up 44% of our total exports, with potential to reduce our productivity following Brexit, Britain is currently the world’s eighth largest industrial nation, employing over 2.5million people, and if current growth trends continue, the region will break into the top five largest industrial countries in the next two years.

‘The UK’s rich history of manufacturing innovation includes a host of successful Formula One cars, and our Automotive and Aviation manufacturing is still strong. Britain is home to the creation of many world-leading brands, and with the building of new aircraft carriers and recent Government commitment to heavily increase R& D spending, I predict that British manufacturing and engineering will weather the current political climate to continued growth and success.’

Skills Shortage

‘Almost 50% of Aviation and 22% of Engineering business leaders view skills shortages as their most concerning challenge in the coming decade, ahead of Brexit, climate change, regulation and political upheaval. The global shortage of skilled engineers and technicians will worsen, particularly in the UK, as existing professionals reach retirement age and attracting new talent becomes more difficult through increased compliance and international legislation.

‘The answer to the technical skills shortage in the UK is to build and develop ‘home-grown’ engineers. The number of apprentices in Britain has been slowly declining for the past few years; in 2018 the number of apprenticeships started in the first quarter of the academic year fell by 26.5%. However, following the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy, there has never been a better time for SMEs as well as larger companies to invest in younger talent pools. Apprentices benefit from a faster path to a rewarding career and the absence of crippling University debt, and employers build an employee base that is ready to work and eager to continue developing their skills.’

Want more industry expertise? Read our Solutions to the Pilot Shortage or the Non-Nuclear Future of Warfare.

Find out more about VHR’s award-winning engineering recruitment services.


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