A £400m investment aimed at encouraging more young people and women into engineering to be announced by universities and science minister David Willetts has been welcomed by the industry as “a great start”.
Responding to the announcement. IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) chief executive Nigel Fine said the cash injection had been sought for some time. He said that although it represented a great start , it would “take a concerted effort from the engineering industry as a whole to fix the problem and achieve a meaningful rise in the number of young people, and women in particular, who chose engineering as their career”.
He continued: “The IET has a series of initiatives to try to address the problem, such as our Young Woman Engineer of the Year award and our student awards, grants and scholarships, which this year totaled £2 million.
“Our 2013 Skills Survey found that over a third of employers are not taking any action to attract women into engineering whilst the average age of the engineering workforce continues to increase, with 56 per cent over the age of 40.
“We still need to do more to attract young people in to the profession as they make a vital contribution to energy, transport, IT and so many other parts of the national infrastructure that everyone takes for granted. I hope today’s announcement will add further impetus to attract the future generation of engineers.”
Tim Thomas, Head of Employment Policy at EEF, said manufacturers were already finding the supply of engineers a block on expansion, with too few graduates, particularly women, entering the sector. “A rebalanced economy will only become a reality if the supply of scientists and engineers can meet the increasing demands of employers, with universities and employers investing together to achieve this,” he added.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.