Press release

STEM skills vital to the Scottish economy

14 September 2011

The importance of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills to the Scottish economy will be the subject of an event taking place at Holyrood today (Wednesday 14 September).

Organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the event will be hosted and chaired by Maureen Watt MSP.

Among those speaking will be Allan Cook CBE, chairman of Atkins, SELEX Galileo, and sector skills council Semta.  He will urge businesses to ensure they have the right skills to prepare for future growth and highlight the important contribution that Scottish businesses have made towards the UK’s engineering and manufacturing industries. However, he will stress that investment in ensuring a pipeline of new talent into the industry is vital in cementing Scotland’s future presence on the engineering global trade stage.

Dr Tony Whitehead, IET Director of Policy, will also address attendees.  He said: “STEM skills are the cornerstones of a successful, sustainable economy and one of the keys to Scotland’s future. Motivating young people to take a career in STEM seriously is key and an activity in which the IET invests considerable time and resource.  

“Clearly, though, more needs to be done.  Changing this requires commitment and leadership by the Scottish Parliament together with a harmonised effort by industry, the STEM professional bodies, such as the IET, and other stakeholders.”

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912

Notes to editors:

  • Interview and filming opportunities are available with IET spokespersons
  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries
  • For more information, visit
  • Follow the IET on Twitter

About the IET’s EPGS

  • The EPGS acts as a two-way link between the science and engineering professions and government in Scotland.  Its main tasks are to provide feedback into government thinking and to proactively raise matters of relevance with government.  The policy group comprises senior members from Scottish industry, academe and professional organisations engaged with Scottish issues.
  • The EPGS includes participation by the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Physics in Scotland, IChemE, and IESIS.
  • The EPGS Chairman is Professor John Roulston OBE.
  • EPGS has arranged Holyrood Briefings for the last three years.  The most recent being in December 2010 when the topic was: “The Future for Oil and Gas”.