More about the Isle of Man Engineering Sector

The island has an established engineering sector which not only supports the island but also supports diverse markets across the world. The sector continues to innovate, broaden and thrive on the world stage of engineering. The sector comprises of around 150 companies employing over 2000 people. Sector activities range from research & development, design, manufacture, assembly, test and delivery of products and services for a range of differing markets and applications.

The sector is a very dynamic and active player in the island's economic prosperity. Its ability to turn an idea or raw material competitively into something of high value that other companies or people are willing to pay for, together with the range of activities and markets it is involved with has ensured the sector has survived many of the global downturns over the past 60 to 70 years. 

The sector has generally grown year on year since its early days in the 1950's both in value and the number of companies based here. Some companies now are even global or are part of a parent organisation that spans the world having been purchased by them due to their worth and/or expertise.

The sector is primarily involved with mechanical engineering via manufacturing, assembly and testing of components, with some research & development and design activities.

The sector can be categorised as comprising three main sub sectors:

  • Precision engineering
  • General manufacturing
  • Support services

Regardless of the sub sector, companies are involved with providing world class products and services around the globe often using advanced technologies, innovative methods and the most important - involving competent and enthused people.

The world of engineering never sits still and accordingly, sector companies are always seeking new work and ways to improve in order to remain competitive in price, quality and timescale in an ever demanding environment. This means that no two days are ever the same when at work in an engineering environment. If you thrive on challenge, are creative and like developing innovative solutions to complex issues, enjoy working with like minded people, to tight timescales then look no further - our sector is for you. The job satisfaction is immense which then in turn helps support a great working environment and home lifestyle.

People are the key to our success and having the correct numbers of people with the mix of required competencies is critical in this regard. The sector is therefore very supportive and mindful of the importance of ensuring island residents are aware of the opportunities in the field of engineering, what qualifications and competencies are needed and how to develop them for employment.  

Accordingly some companies within the sector have taken this a stage further by supporting many activities around the island via charities, sports team/events and sponsorship. In addition, some work with government through the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce on the ACE (Awareness of Careers in Engineering) programme, which is focused on ensuring island residents are aware of the sector, its opportunities and the skills needed for employment (use link here for more information on the ACE programme).

The island's engineering and manufacturing companies deliver:

  • hundreds of millions in Sales (£) - even better, much of this is for export,
  • millions in salaries and wages (£) - which feeds back into the local economy,
  • average salaries higher than most other sectors - with jobs at all levels, and
  • about 2300 jobs with around 146 companies (large and small).

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian polymath, widely recognised as one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived, who is revered for his technological ingenuity towards engineering. He conceptualised flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power and an adding machine all of which have a global impact today.)