A host of technology businesses have signed up to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s campaign to support growth in UK engineering.
The academy’s Engineering for Growth campaign is designed to demonstrate the economic impact and societal benefits delivered by engineering, which contributes £481bn in added value to the UK economy and employs over 5.4 million people.
And today Atkins, BAE Systems, EADS, Lucite International, Rolls-Royce, McLaren Group, National Grid, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Technology Strategy Board, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have been announced as partners.
Sir John Parker, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “We must do all that we can to raise awareness and debate on the urgent need to both plug the engineering skills gap and create a climate that enables research, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish in the UK.
“This is the rationale behind the Engineering for Growth campaign. The support for the campaign from some of the UK’s leading businesses and institutions has been excellent. We look forward to welcoming further partners and supporters to collaborate with us as Engineering for Growth gains momentum over the coming months.”
Partners will collaborate to identify and debate some of the biggest challenges facing UK engineering today and in the future including addressing the engineering skills gap, ensuring that the UK has a well-funded and world-class research base, and cultivating an entrepreneurial culture to help new ideas translate into marketable products and services.
One of the flagship Engineering for Growth initiatives is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub, established to bring about a step change in the success of high-potential UK-based technology businesses and their contribution to economic growth.
The Enterprise Hub provides mentoring and support for start-ups and growing SMEs, and so far 70 of the UK’s top technology entrepreneurs and business professionals have pledged their time as mentors.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Engineers are the perfect example of the sort of high-skilled, long-term jobs we want to encourage, jobs that will be critical to growing the British economy over the next decade.
“My ambition is that this decade becomes the decade of the engineer as we encourage more young people, and girls in particular, to study physics, maths and science at school as the gateway subjects to a career in engineering. The Royal Academy’s programme, Engineering for Growth, will help us make this a reality.”
Other initiatives planned for Engineering for Growth include debates and roundtables addressing key issues, research into the challenges highlighted, and a programme of MP visits to some of the UK’s brightest and most promising engineering companies.
Professor Andy Hopper, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “Engineering is the basis of the world in which we live. Every bit of technology we use has been engineered; every computing device has been programmed by software engineers; every significant built structure has involved civil and structural engineers; the energy we use is the result of the efforts of electrical and gas engineers and technicians."
Today also sees the launch of the Engineering for Growth website, which acts as a central hub for partner news and Engineering for Growth activities and events.