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Why are so many engineers leaving?

Ash Rich

As someone who is due to join as an ETME, I have heard a lot of talk about the lack of engineers. Being on the outside, it is quite hard to gain a real understanding behind why this is. Could anyone help? And what implications does this have on new recruits? For example, could it be good for career progression or is it more likely to be a hindrance?

Thanks, Ash.


War Hero
Someone in their infinite wisdom scrapped Mechanician and artificer roles and cocked the structure of the Marine engineering role up.


War Hero
You could read into the shortage of engineering technicians in many different ways, but a few points worth considering:
  • The Naval Service reflects civilian society. There is a shortage of civilian engineering technicians also. Reason? Multiple, but the fact that many people think a university degree automatically assures a management job often means there is a shortage of people whom to manage.
  • The average sailor serves around six years, this has been the case for many, many years. Trouble is, the shortage is at the six-eight year point (ie: Leading Rate & Petty Officer)
  • Naval engineering technician training is quite highly regarded in the civil sector, making the transition to civilian engineering in the private sector financially rewarding & therefore attractive.
  • The majority of those joining the Naval Service are single. When they subsequently find themselves a partner, maybe have kids etc., their priorities change and separation becomes an issue

Ash Rich

Thanks for the replies guys. It has confirmed what I thought might well be the case. I can imagine family life etc plays a huge part in the decision to leave. I would guess that this is a problem across all trades but perhaps has more impact on skilled trades that take time to train up to scratch.


this is why so many REME Techs, myself included are wanting/waiting to transfer. Too many within the Army and treated like 12year olds at school more often than not. Looking forward to a new challenge in life, as well as visiting many new places around the world as the Army has cut all of the nice postings now.

Ash Rich

Yeah, tell me about it!

After leaving though, I pretty quickly realised civvies are weird. I'm just looking forward to getting back into it all now and learning some new things. I tried that settling down thing once and I can confirm that it's not for me. Hoping to make a bit of a career of it really. Should be good.

I look forward to it, Trainer.
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