Engineering technicians are vitally important to the UK and our economy. They have the skills and expertise the country needs to deliver 21st century services, systems and products. To boost the profile of engineering technicians, action is being taken to further boost their status and recognition.
Three of the UK’s largest professional engineering institutions (PEIs) have formed a partnership to drive a mass expansion of registered engineering technicians (EngTechs). Supported by funding from the Gatsby Foundation, ICE, IMechE and IET will promote Engineering Council registration to engineering technicians currently in training and those already employed.
The key aims are to achieve 100,000 registered EngTechs by 2018, and to establish a sustainable model for registration, so that EngTech numbers continue to grow year-on-year to 2025 and beyond.
Qualified Engineering Technician Members gain a greater recognition for their skills in delivering technical solutions within mechanical and multi-disciplinary engineering teams. They apply proven techniques to solve practical engineering problems. They carry supervisory or technical responsibility, and can exercise creative aptitudes and skills within defined fields of technology.
This is the first time the three largest PEIs have worked together on a programme of this scale. Commenting on the partnership Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said:
“This joint initiative to accelerate the number of professional engineering technicians in the UK is a key ingredient to a successful industrial strategy for the country. It is vital that we re-skill the nation as quickly as possible because the energy, construction, manufacturing and transport industries are facing critical shortages of vital engineering skills which are inhibiting growth in our economy. With the three leading Professional Engineering Institutions working together with employers and the education system, we have a much greater chance of success.”
Recruitment of the programme team has started, with job adverts appearing in national press. Once in place, in March, this team will create research-validated implementation plans to promote the benefits of registration to current apprentices and students at Further Education colleges, and to 'time-served' technicians in the workplace, currently employed by large and small organisations. These plans will go into operation in 2014.