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Engineering profession calls for action to secure the UK’s future economy and society

It calls on government to work with the engineering community to invest in skills, innovation, digital and traditional infrastructure, and clean energy technologies.

Backed by the UK’s leading engineering organisations, Engineering priorities for our future economy and society highlights critical policy recommendations to enhance the UK’s status as a world-leading innovation and engineering hub, ahead of the forthcoming spending review, the UK’s exit from the EU and a possible general election.

Simon Edwards, IET Director of Governance and External Engagement, said: “Never before has engineering and technology been so vital for the future of the UK economy and our role as a global innovator. Securing our future requires investment in training and developing the skills of the next generation of engineers. The UK has an impressive track record of early-stage research and we call for more money to be put into developing new products and solutions that will improve our productivity. First for investment should be technologies that will unlock our ability to deliver the UK’s ambitious climate change goals.

“The engineering community in the UK has joined together with one unified voice and identified the priorities that, at this important political time, will strengthen the position of the UK as a leader in technology and innovation, and create a unique and sustainable competitive advantage in global markets.”

This is the first joint publication by the National Engineering Policy Centre, an ambitious new partnership between 39 UK engineering organisations, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The National Engineering Policy Centre was established to give policymakers access to the best independent advice, skills and expertise of the engineering profession, which generates £420.5 billion of UK GVA and employs over 5.8 million people. It aims to apply engineers’ problem-solving skills to some of the biggest problems the UK faces today.

This engineering manifesto includes 20 actions across five key policy areas:

  • Skills: Implement the recommendations of the Perkins Review, which sets out actions to ensure an adequate supply of engineering talent for our nation, to secure the engineering skills needed for the future.
  • Innovation: Increase Innovate UK’s budget to boost support for business innovation and the ‘D’ of R&D to increase productivity.
  • Digital: Deliver fast and resilient digital infrastructure, a thriving business environment, excellent digital skills and a diverse pipeline of workers to create a world-leading digital economy.
  • Infrastructure: Deliver on the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Assessment or set out alternative plans to meet the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.
  • Energy and climate change: Deliver on the UK’s ambitious climate change goals by investing in demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon heat, charging of electric vehicles and carbon capture and storage technologies.

To read Engineering priorities for our future economy and society, please visit https://www.theiet.org/impact-society/factfiles/raeng-and-iet-documents/engineering-priorities-for-our-future-economy-and-society/.

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Notes to editors

National Engineering Policy Centre

The National Engineering Policy Centre is an ambitious partnership, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, between UK engineering organisations representing 450,000 engineers.

The Centre connects policymakers with critical engineering expertise to inform and respond to policy issues of national importance, giving policymakers a route to the best independent advice available from across the whole profession, and the profession a unified voice on shared challenges. Our ambition is that the Centre will be a trusted partner for policymakers, enabling them to access excellent engineering expertise, for social and economic benefit.

Find out more about the Centre partners here:

About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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