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Focus on Engineering and Technical Skills

The November Edition of the Institute of Directors magazine highlights that of 650 MPs; only 12 have any form of engineering degree. This contrasts with over 140 who have law or history degrees.

The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games opening ceremonies celebrated British engineering talent from Brunel to Tim Berners – Lee. However, the UK does not help inspire young people to consider engineering as a career. Indeed every recession is beset with headlines about redundancies, often in the engineering sectors.

The USA has a Chief Technology Officer at the White House, a position created in 2009. The UK does have a Chief Scientific Adviser but we now need to add to this and consider our future “wealth- creating” opportunities.

As Sir Stuart Rose said recently:

“Inactivity is a dreadful disease. It leads to stagnation, loss of confidence and zero growth. We live in a capitalist society and we have to create wealth. And if we don’t create wealth, governments can’t tax us because there won’t be anything to tax”.

 Wales has developed the Engineering Education Scheme to encourage Year 12 students. The UK has the Engineering Council that works with a number of organisations but who is inspiring our young people?

The government needs to focus on technology and engineering across the UK and that needs to include civil servants and our politicians as well as young people.