Global Engineering Capability Review


By the Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Every day around the world more than 1000 people die due to an accident at work. Moreover, the latest available data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows that fatal occupational accidents are increasing in many developing economies. The relatively rapid construction of new critical infrastructure is thought to be a causal factor; low income and newly-industrialised countries are investing huge amounts in infrastructure upgrades and the adoption of (new) technologies to accommodate their increasing populations and to support their growing economies. For example, the Asian Development Bank forecasts Southeast Asia will need US$2.8 trillion in infrastructure investment between 2016 and 2030.

The full impact of these large-scale investments cannot be reached if countries do not also develop the capability and capacity to maintain and operate such infrastructure safely. Today, there is a severe lack of such engineering and technical capacity; a skills gap that is exacerbated by the introduction of new and emerging technologies, and by infrastructure developments that do not include and involve local workforces.

So, without intervention, the pattern of increasing occupational accidents and fatalities is likely to continue.

We need evidence and insight to better understand the areas where engineering capacity and capability to address safety challenges is most lacking, and to identify areas where we can make a real difference.

As a first step, this report provides a broad assessment of the extent to which nearly 100 countries are able to do safe and innovative engineering and offers additional insight to specific capability issues in six countries.

There is a clear need for a stronger evidence base and further insight. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this report will provide a starting point for education, policy and industry communities to convene around common challenges, and engage wider society in understanding the importance of engineering education to meet the demand for the skills to build, operate and maintain infrastructure safely.

Dr Tim Slingsby, Director Skills and Education Lloyd’s Register Foundation

About Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Our vision

Our vision is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education, which makes a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. In support of this, we promote scientific excellence and act as
a catalyst working with others to achieve maximum impact.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation charitable mission

  • To secure for the benefit of the community high technical standards of design, manufacture, construction, maintenance, operation and performance for the purpose of enhancing the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air.
  • The advancement of public education including within the transportation industries and any other engineering and technological disciplines.