Media release - 1/7/2009

Engineering Community Responds to Government Response on IUSSC Enquiry into Engineering

Engineers Tell Government: Together We Can Make Things Happen The engineering community has today welcomed the spirit of the Government’s response to the IUSS Select Committee Report, Engineering: Turning Ideas into Reality, whilst also calling for more immediate signs of action.

Chief Executives from across the professional engineering community have welcomed the Government’s acknowledgement that engineering advice and guidance has a crucial role in policy-making and should be brought more closely into the process of Government. 1 They have also outlined three areas of the response in which the community has a great deal to offer in order to speed up the process of change.

The first is the creation of an accurate and coordinated engineering skills map detailing where skills gaps and deficiencies exist. The professional engineering institutions and others are already undertaking a great deal of work in this area, and would like to see this used and coordinated with the work Government is undertaking, as detailed in their response.

The second is the swift implementation of Government plans to consult qualified engineering experts, both inside and outside the civil service wherever necessary. The engineering community would like to offer its support to Government to help put a clear operational procedure in place by the end of the year including making professional registration a key part of Government’s recruitment process and use of external consultants.

The Chief Executives have thirdly called on the Government to continue getting behind practical activities to inspire young people about engineering careers. Whilst warmly welcoming the Government’s recent support for The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, the engineering community would urge Parliamentarians across the political divide to continue working with the education professionals, careers advisors and the engineering community to improve the reach and standard of careers advice and guidance in schools and colleges.

Many of the professional engineering institutions are also eager to see the importance of engineering reflected in the title of the new Science and Technology Committee, whilst
at the same time recognising that the crucial issue is that the committee continues to place engineering at the heart of its remit and role.

The engineering community is already working together to provide accurate, consistent and joined up advice and guidance to Government on all of these issues. It welcomes the Government’s response to Engineering: Turning Ideas into Reality as the first step in what it hopes will be a series of swift and decisive actions to bring engineering to the heart of public policy.

David Brown, Chairman of the ETB’s Professional Panel, said: “It’s essential that Government not only seeks, but decisively follows engineering advice and guidance from qualified, professionally registered experts when addressing relevant policy issues.”

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Technology Board, (ETB), said: “We welcome the the Government’s response to Engineering: Turning Ideas into Reality, and look forward to helping deliver the proposed changes, but swift, decisive action is needed to ensure this happens, particularly with so many major engineering projects in the pipeline. Government, business and industry, and the engineering community must come together to ensure joined up thinking not only on technical issues, but also on skills and policy needs.”

Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “We are delighted that Government has accepted the great majority of the committee’s recommendations. The recognition that UK engineering is world class and that the Government will look to the professional engineering community for impartial, expert and timely input to policy formation is strongly welcomed. We are working with Government and the institutions to make this happen”.

Notes to Editors

Mark Askew, Executive Secretary, The Nuclear Institute (INucE) Trevor Blakeley, Chief Executive, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) Libby Brodhurst, Chief Executive, The Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) David Brown, Chief Executive, The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Raymond Clark , Chief Executive, The Society of Environmental Engineers (SEE) Lynn Cooper, Chief Executive, The Institution of Water Officers (IWO) Chris Eady, Associate Director, The Welding Institute (TWI) Nigel Fine, Chief Executive, The Institution of Engineering and Technology Tom Foulkes, Director General, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Philip Greenish, Chief Executive, The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Lieutenant Colonel David Hamilton, Secretary, The Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE) Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) Nick Jones, Chief Executive, The Society of Operational Engineers (SOE) Blane Judd, Chief Executive, The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) Louise Kingham, Chief Executive, The Energy Institute (EI) John Long, CEO, The Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM) Kevin Macan-Lind, Chief Executive, The Institute of Acoustics (IoA) Marcus Jones, Chief Executive, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) Peter Martindale, Chief Executive and Secretary, The Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC) Stephen Matthews, Chief Executive, The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Colin Porter, Chief Executive, The Institution of Railway Signal Enginers (IRSE) Martin Powell, Chief Executive, The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Nick Reeves, Chief Executive, The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Bernard Rickinson, Chief Executive, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM) Sarah Sillars, Chief Executive, The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) John Williams, Chief Executive Officer, The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM)

For further information please contact:
Laura Marsh
Senior Communications Executive, EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0444 or (m) 07887 943 017

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