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IME responds to Autumn Statement

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

“Today’s announcement of additional spending for transport, technology, energy and infrastructure, leaves one crucial part of the puzzle out: skills. All this funding, without the skilled people to deliver these projects, is like funding an empty shed. Government wants home-grown talent to deliver Research & Development, driverless cars and new energy infrastructure, but we just don’t have the sufficient engineers to deliver this. We have a shortage of key skills today and no clear plan on how to develop a skills pipeline for tomorrow. Government must face facts and outline a clear strategy to ensure the UK has the skills it needs for the economy to thrive.

“Increasing the uptake of ultra low emission ve,hicles play a huge role in the UK’s future but we must ensure it’s part of an integrated transport strategy in the UK, so today’s announcement for continued support to these initiative are welcomed. Major infrastructure projects are being developed in isolation which still focus on how journeys are made, and not on the ‘why’ or ‘when’.

"We suggest that Government departments collaboratively develop a strategy to incentivise and support an integrated approach that would better serve passengers, providing a resilient infrastructure which is cost effective, efficient and reliable encouraging modal shift towards modes that better protect the environment.

"The Institution also believes that that while the new Shale Wealth Fund is potentially good news for local areas near new shale developments, much more needs to be done to inform the public that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can be developed safely. Fracking is not the silver bullet solution to meeting our future energy needs but has the potential to contribute to securing gas supplies and creating much needed highly skilled jobs in regions such as Lancashire and Yorkshire.

"Furthermore, the £2 billion commitment to research and development provides opportunities for applied engineering projects that support low emission technologies and reduces our potential impact on climate change as well as looks at projects to support skills development and the regeneration of the regions.”

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