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Reform to complex technical education system will tackle engineering skills gap

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has responded to the publication of the Sainsbury Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education.

Nigel said: “The UK’s technical education system is overly complex and this report not only highlights this, but also offers valuable insight into how to reform it.

“Technical education is an equally valued pathway into engineering alongside the higher education route, but the UK is currently lagging behind countries such as France and Germany so reform is urgently needed to ensure that we do not fall further down the global rankings.

“More crucially, we were anticipating a shortage of nearly 2 million engineers in the UK, before any impact from Brexit, so the opportunity to reform technical education for the long term is absolutely critical.

“Particularly welcome are the clear progression routes between technical and academic education as set out in the report, which means we can encourage young people to progress from apprenticeships to degree courses and vice versa. This will improve the level of practical skills and knowledge which employers so urgently need.

“The proposed reforms to provide opportunities for high quality, structured work placements for students to gain much needed practical and technical skills will also greatly help in improving skills levels – helping to address the skills gap the industry now faces.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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