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IEM: Engineering needs more spotlight in education

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Peter Finegold, Head of Education and Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said in response to Engineering UK’s The State of Engineering report, “This report is right to say that engineering is a sector that is driving growth in the UK economy, but this growth can only be maintained if we take urgent action to address the UK’s critical engineering skills shortage.

“According to the report, we need to be producing 69 000 more engineers than we are currently producing every year just to meet industry demand.

“Without the development of these skills, the UK will be unable to complete the vital infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors the country so desperately needs. We need enough people with the right skills to be confident of the country’s economic growth.

“It is time that the country’s economic priorities are reflected in the education sector and that science and technology subjects are promoted to more than just the obvious candidates. We need to change the way engineering is promoted and make it more attractive to more students by championing the creative aspects of the discipline and the fundamental role engineers play in our society to sectors as diverse as healthcare, food production and conservation.

“We also need to do more to bridge links between schools and industry and ensure teachers are confident to present to young people the huge variety of careers an engineering education can lead to.”

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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