Engineering scheme to address UK’s skill shortage

21 June 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
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New scheme backed, among others by the IET, will provide 100,000 Engineering Technicians with on-the-job training

New scheme backed, among others by the IET, will provide 100,000 Engineering Technicians with on-the-job training

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce a new initiative that aims to create 100,000 registered engineering technicians by 2018 to tackle the shortage of skills in several sectors.

The scheme is a response to ongoing concerns that not enough people seek to pursue a career in engineering in the UK, which means critical sectors including construction and manufacturing industry might face difficulties in the near future to find adequately qualified workers.

The scheme will work through established apprentice programmes and will offer a structured on-the-job training to 100,000 Engineering Technicians build upon recognised academic qualifications.

The multi-million-pound initiative is backed jointly by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the IET, the Gatsby Foundation and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

"To help UK companies succeed in this ever-growing competitive global marketplace, we need people with the highest professional skills and abilities," said Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. "This initiative will ensure that the UK has a growing stream of engineering technicians being developed to a level that is recognised and respected around the world."

According to current estimates, the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and manufacturing professions by 2020 to avoid a severe skills shortage, which will affect the growth of these vital sectors.

"Our work to boost the number of technicians, and ensure they are recognised in society, is crucial if we are to have the right skills to meet the challenges ahead," said Professor Barry Clarke, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The scheme announcement was accompanied by the first visit of the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car to Downing Street. The 13m jet-and-rocket propelled car, designed to among others to attract the new generation to engineering disciplines, aims not only to beat the current land speed record of 763mph in 2014, but also to be the first land vehicle to exceed 1,000mph by 2015.

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