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Engineering and Manufacturing

Hertfordshire’s engineering research and manufacturing capability is built on a long history of innovation with established centres of excellence and companies with inter-galactic reach

Hertfordshire’s engineering research and manufacturing capability is built on a long history of innovation with established centres of excellence and companies with inter-galactic reach.

Facts & Figures

£3.5 billion Contribution to Hertfordshire economy in 2015
2.1% Hertfordshire sector value growth
1.6% National sector value growth

Hertfordshire Prospects

Hertfordshire continues to build on its pioneering industrial heritage. The first production commercial jetliner, the de Havilland Comet, was developed and manufactured in Hatfield in 1947 and Hertfordshire was home to the first digital radio manufacturer in the UK.

Stevenage is the leading location for the UK space industry and home to the 2018 ExoMars Rover and the 2017 Solar Orbiter Satellite research and development programmes.

Hertfordshire’s engineering research and manufacturing capability is built on a long history of innovation. Established centres of excellence include:

  • Science & Technology Research Institute (STRI)
  • Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR)
  • Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR)
  • Materials Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL)
  • Institute for Acoustics
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology

Key Companies include:

  • Airbus Defence and Space
  • MBDA
  • BAE Systems
  • Thermal Engineering, Senior PLC

Out of this world

Hertfordshire’s world-class engineering companies specialise in aerospace, space and satellite engineering, communication technologies, electronics, defence and security-related equipment and logistics.

The advanced engineering sector includes top global companies such as Airbus, MBDA, Johnson Matthey, and Smiths Detection, as well as a multitude of niche engineering companies involved in everything from components to consumables.

Across the UK, more than 90,000 companies are involved in advanced manufacturing and engineering, employing 2.7 million people.

Between 2005 and 2015, manufacturing productivity grew three times faster than the rest of the UK’s economy. Advanced manufacturing contributes more than £162 billion to the British economy. R&D investment in the sector, at £13.5 billion a year, accounts for almost 70% of Britain’s entire research and development spending.

Advanced manufacturing and engineering contributed £3.5 billion to the Hertfordshire economy in 2015. The value of the sector to the economy grew by 2.1% per year between 2005 and 2015, compared with a national rate of 1.6%.


In 2015 the advanced engineering sector employed 26,600 people in Hertfordshire, and in 2016 there were 2,110 firms in the sector. Since 2010 the number of businesses has risen by 3.8% a year.

Careers in Engineering & Manufacturing

Looking to work in engineering or manufacturing? You could be a Civil Engineer or work in Aerospace, a Quality Control, Planning and Process operative, Rail, Automotive or Marine Engineer or creating new buildings as a building services, civil and structural or electrical engineer…

Job roles

Take a look at some job roles in the Engineering and Manufacturing Industries


Training courses

Here you can find all the short courses and qualifications relevant to the Engineering and Manufacturing.  Browse courses that are quality assured by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. 


Apprenticeships are one way to start a career in engineering and manufacturing. Go to our HOP pages on Apprenticeships for more information on how to become an apprentice. 


You can find out more detail on what each apprenticeship qualification involves through the Institute of Apprenticeships.

Higher Education

The School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire puts exciting industry-leading technology into your hands. 


You will benefit from world-class learning and experiential facilities to enable you to develop the practical skills you need to gain your dream career in the different fields of engineering and computer science. Their facilities include; commercial flight simulators, supersonic wind tunnels, driving simulators and specialist artificial intelligence and robotics labs all designed to give you the skills you need to succeed. Find out more here.

Apprenticeships in Engineering and Manufacturing

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Engineering and Manufacturing Learning Opportunities

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'Engineering' Job Vacancies

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'Manufacturing' Job Vacancies

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