Engineering firms struggle to hire diverse workforce

Engineering firms are working to improve the diversity of their workforce but say it's a struggle.

Last year, 70 percent of Tonkin and Taylor's new engineering graduates identified as New Zealand European.

The rest identified as Indian, Asian or 'other European'.

The company said it was pushing for diversity, but struggled to find Māori and Pasifika graduates to hire.

Tonkin and Taylor clients executive leader Simonne Eldridge said research showed the problem stemmed from primary school.

If a child was not engaged with science and maths by the end of primary school, they were unlikely to pursue a career in those disciplines, she said.

The company needed a diverse engineering workforce, in order to solve complex problems in the future, Ms Eldridge said.