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Engineers urge next government to commit to a long-term industrial strategy

Professional Engineering

The National Engineering Policy Centre is calling on the next government to commit to a long-term industrial strategy for the UK that draws on its strength in engineering, innovation, research and manufacturing.

The call comes from a new report entitled ‘Engineering a resilient and prosperous future,’ which brought together 42 professional engineering organisations to assess the UK’s needs and where engineering can help address them. Engineering posts comprise nearly 20 per cent of jobs nationally, and 32 per cent of economic output. The NEPC calls for a systems approach to policy: 

  • Redouble the commitment to net zero and accelerate the development and adoption of green technologies by driving action and instilling confidence through fixed targets to cut carbon emissions, incentivising demand reduction and technology development and adoption; prioritising a just transition through meaningful engagement with diverse communities; and accelerating green growth.
  • Deliver a National Engineering and Technology Workforce Strategy by equipping the UK with the skilled workforce needed to meet the challenges of sustainability and technological advancement by delivering a long-term holistic plan encompassing all education stages, reskilling and upskilling, to deliver a diverse engineering and technology profession with the skills needed for the future.
  • Future proof UK infrastructure to deliver sustainable, resilient and healthy spaces by building on the National Infrastructure Assessment recommendations and joining up existing sub-national strategies to ensure infrastructure continues to deliver economic and societal benefits across the UK.

“Engineers are drivers of innovation and economic opportunity,” says Professor Sir Jim McDonald GBE FREng FRSE, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

"They leverage advances in research to develop and deliver new products, services and enterprises that generate jobs and value to society. More than eight million people work in the UK’s engineering economy and the profession generates up to an estimated £645bn gross value added to the economy annually. For the UK to leverage that impressive engineering and technological strength, the new government needs to pursue a clear industrial strategy, underpinned by large-scale targeted support to key sectors, as many of our competitor nations have succeeded in doing.

"The choice is clear: we must create an environment that supports companies here, or they will go elsewhere.”

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.



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