The pandemic has resulted in a vast change across the UK, from preventing productivity to enforcing remote working, COVID-19 has influenced our ‘normal’ way of working in a variety of sectors.

At Project Start, we recognise the extraordinary economic impact the pandemic has had on the engineering sector and our clients alike.

Impacts of COVID-19, saw the temporary closure of sites, supply chain issues, restricted office access and a complete change of market needs. Futuristically it is likely that COVID -19 will change the way engineers work, manufacture, and collaborate.


A poll conducted by “The Engineer”, asked respondents how they believe the virus will reshape engineering in the UK:-

  • 40% of respondents believed there would be a stronger domestic supply chain because of COVID-19


  • 26% said there would be an increase of automation and digital tools.


  • Enhanced climate of collaboration and a nimbler approach to design/manufacturing moving forward.


Please click on the link for the full poll https://www.theengineer.co.uk/poll-COVID19-engineering-impact/


The responses reflect the main issues that the manufacturing, construction, and engineering sectors faced during the pandemic.

During the first few months of the pandemic (March 2020), many businesses temporarily closed or paused trading.  During this period of time engineering-related industries, businesses in construction and manufacturing were affected with 20 – 30% of businesses reporting a hold on trade in April 2020.

Out of the engineering-related industries, construction firms were badly hit, with 45% of businesses reporting that their turnover had decreased by more than 50% in mid – April 2020.

In July 2020 restrictions were eased, allowing most sectors to thrive and return to a more normal trading over the Summer/Autumn months. But in early October 2020, only 6% of construction firms and 2% of manufacturing firms were not trading at all.

In July 2020, CV Library (the UK’s leading job board) saw a drop in the number of engineering sector jobs being posted on this recruitment site, by 74.2%.

Fast forward to January 2021 and most UK regions were put into full lockdown measures. Due to this January lockdown, 27% of businesses across all sectors had paused trading, including 27% of construction business and 24% of manufacturing businesses.

At Project Start, we don’t like doom and gloom stories and like to think positive about the future, so we have put together a list of how the engineering industry is helping combat COVID-19.


  • Ventilators – the government called on the engineering industry to help with the shortfall of ventilators back in March (2020), many engineering companies have worked to assemble thousands of life-saving devices.


  • PPE equipment – the lack of PPE for NHS frontline workers was appalling, the engineering industry stepped up helping manufacture protective equipment for medical staff to use.


  • Medical testing – Some engineers in China have developed a robot capable of treating and testing COVID-19 patients.


The pandemic has been a challenging one for all, especially for those who work within the engineering sector but as the list of examples prove, we are really all in this together.

The engineering industry has demonstrated how adaptable it can be in times of trouble and Project Start are proud to work alongside the engineering profession and our wonderful engineering clients and candidates.


Here is to supporting those projects in 2021 and beyond!

Check out the Project Start engineering capabilities brochure