The events, entitled Engineering Priorities for the Spending Review took place ahead of the Government’s 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review planned for this autumn. The National Engineering Policy Centre brand, which brings together 43 different UK engineering organisations representing 450,000 engineers, was also featured.
The fringe events outlined the engineering priorities for the Government Comprehensive Spending Review. A panel of engineering experts, joined by politicians, proposed actions to enable the UK to make investment decisions that will create more jobs and prosperity, as well as meeting the future needs of our society.
Robert Beahan, IET Public Affairs Manager, said: “The Comprehensive Spending Review comes at such an important time for our economy. It is crucial that engineers highlight the important role that technology and innovation will have in creating more jobs and prosperity across the nation as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Bridget Phillipson MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury attended the Labour fringe event. She was joined by Dr Simon Harrison BSc PhD CEng FIET, IET Vice President, Blessing Danha MEng (Hons) CEng MICE (ICE), Dr Hilary Leevers (EngineeringUK) and Faith Wainwright FREng MBE FIStructE FICE FREng DEng(Hons) (Royal Academy of Engineering).
The Conservative fringe event was attended by Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, and Amanda Solloway MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation. They were joined on the panel by IET Trustee Yewande Akinola MBE BEng MSc CEng FIET, Professor Jim Hall (ICE), Dr Hilary Leevers (EngineeringUK) and former IET President Professor Jeremy Watson CBE FREng FIET DPhil CEng (Royal Academy of Engineering).
The events coincided with a new National Engineering Policy Centre document, entitled Engineering a resilient and sustainable future, which will be published at the end of September. The IET and other PEIs have all contributed to this new document.
The document offers a range of suggested concrete actions in four areas, grouped under Net-zero, Education and Skills, Infrastructure and Innovation, but with many interdependencies and overlaps between them. The document sets out how they especially support two priorities of the Spending Review - Economic Recovery – prioritising jobs & skills and Levelling-up by investing in infrastructure and innovation.
The IET also plan to hold a fringe event at the SNP conference, which is scheduled for late November 2020.