The UK’s future industrial success is closely tied to its engineering talent pool. Much has been said and written about the country’s pressing need for engineers and the government is taking an active role in promoting the profession among young people, supporting training initiatives by employers and getting educational bodies involved in the effort. The issue of engineering skills is once again in the spotlight with the release of a report by John Perkins, the professor advising the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on scientific matters.
The publication contains an analysis of the UK engineering talent pipeline and urges the government, the engineering industry and educators to work together so that the nation can meet its engineering skill needs. In response to the Perkins Review, the government is setting aside nearly £49 million to support initiatives to that end.
About £30 million of the total funding package will be reserved for employers so that they can invest more in training tailored to their specific needs. The government has also earmarked £18 million for the construction of an elite training facility at the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre. There is also £250,000 allocated as seed funding for Tomorrow’s Engineers, which will use the money to accelerate its engagement programme to employers across the country. This programme aims to make engineering careers more attractive to school children. The Daphne Jackson Trust will get £40,000 for the development of a new fellowship that will help people resume their engineering career after a professional break. Finally, the government is supporting the creation of a portal on the National Careers Service website. It will bring together companies wishing to raise the profile of engineering among school children and organisations capable of assisting employers in that effort.
A spokesman for ATG Training, The Group Training Association which has been delivering engineering training in the Thames Valley since 1967 welcomed the investment and urged engineering employers to engage ever more fully with their training provider in order to ensure their requirements are fully complied with. This method of working has been the bedrock of ATG Training’s policy since day one.