More engineers are needed if the UK is going to maintain its ability to build world-class facilities like the Olympic Park.
That is the message from the Institution of Engineering and Technology in response to new research that shows more companies are finding it difficult to recruit engineers than in 2011.
The IET annual skills survey shows that there is demand for new recruits but that employers are struggling to find staff.
More than half of the companies surveyed plan to recruit in the next 12 months, compared to 36 per cent in 2011.
Stephanie Fernandes, IET Principal Policy Advisor for Education and Skills said:
"The engineering sector has enjoyed a renaissance recently, playing such a central role in enabling a successful Olympics Games.
"The sector is of huge importance to the economy, typically accounting for a quarter of all turnover in the UK. This new research clearly shows a desire by employers to recruit new staff, but that they are struggling to find the right people.
"The planned recruitment is clearly good news, suggesting increased confidence in the economic outlook, but if firms are unable to fill their vacancies the economy will continue to shrink."
39% of companies planning to hire new engineering, IT and technical staff within the next 12 months, compared to 24% in 2011.
The survey showed that 6% of the engineering workforce are women, and only 2% of engineering apprentices are female.
The IET has called for female role models from the industry to engage with schools and for schools to engage with local engineering firms to boost apprentice numbers from both sexes.
Ms Fernandes said: "It is more important than ever that the education system consistently delivers the engineers and technicians that industry desperately needs. This reinforces the recent House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report which called for urgent action by the government to boost student numbers in the STEM subjects."