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Fears Over Dearth of Engineers in Europe


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Volvo Chief Executive Leif Johansson

"We have much too much discussion about labor costs. What we really need to be concerned about is that we have the right skills and education," says Leif Johansson, the head of the European Roundtable of Industrialists and chief executive of Volvo.

Credit: Scanpix

The European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) says that Europe needs to take action to encourage people to become engineers or risk losing out to India and China. "What we really need to be concerned about is that we have the right skills and education," says ERT's Leif Johansson.

The ERT, which consists of chief executives and chairpersons from 50 of Europe's largest firms, lists the growing skills shortage as one of its biggest concerns. "We have too few young people all in all, and too few young people going into engineering," Johansson says. "We are beginning to see real competition coming from India and China in, for example, highly-qualified engineers."

Fewer and fewer young people are pursuing technical degrees in Europe, which has led to an acute shortage of engineers. For example, Germany currently lacks 30,000 engineers, while China trains 400,000 engineers annually.

From Financial Times
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