Perkins Review calls for future engineering support

04 November 2013 #SMMT News

A report published today calls for government and engineering firms to put their weight behind the UK’s engineering future, and to address skills shortages.

The Review of Engineering Skills, constructed by Professor John Perkins, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, coincides with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week and sets out government’s plans to boost the UK’s skill set by working with education and industry.

In response, government has made £49 million of funding available to tackle skills shortages, including:

  • up to £30 million funding in 2014, which employers can bid for to address specific skills requirements
  • £18 million investment in a new state-of-the-art training facility at Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • £1 million to be invested into organisations such as the Daphne Jackson Trust and the National Careers Service to aid engagement and support for employers and employees alike

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “Engineering has a vital role to play in the future of UK industry. It is important that we act now to ensure businesses have access to the skills they require to enable them to grow. We cannot do this alone so I am calling on employers and education professionals to get involved and inspire the next generation of engineers.

“Some of the challenges facing the engineering sector start when pupils are still at school and come back to choose subjects following GCSEs. Engineers must have a strong foundation in maths and science, especially physics. The number of young people choosing these subjects post-16 is relatively low, especially amongst women. The government is making changes that will impact this, including a redesign of the curriculum, teacher development, and additional funding to support these changes.”

Professor John Perkins, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said, “I have highlighted the challenges currently faced by the engineering industry and the importance of all partners working together to attract future engineering talent in order to grow the UK economy.

“This review sets out government plans for the future and I would encourage employers, educators and professional bodies in the industry to take note and get involved.”

To read the Perkins Review in full, click here.

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