They include oil and gas, power generation, nuclear energy, renewable energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, water treatment, food and drink, steel, glass and paper making.
It’s the varied and challenging work done by some 100,000 UK workers who design, project manage, construct, install, test, commission, operate and maintain the plant infrastructure of this group of economic sectors that make up about 20% of our economy (though quite a lot work in exotic overseas locations too). These people could be managers, supervisors, professional engineers, craft engineers, technicians, semi-skilled operatives or even administrative staff.
This specialised workforce – all with a background in STEM subjects – strut their highly-skilled stuff in places like wind farms, oil rigs and refineries, chemical factories, sewerage works, nuclear power stations and even sports stadiums. They work in disciplines from project control to plating and pipefitting, steel erection to electrical and mechanical maintenance, from load moving to both welding and testing machinery and materials. They design and build power stations and they put together steel super-structures such as the Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics.