IET working with Government

28 January 2014
IET Communications team
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Abbie Hutty, Peter Lilley and Stephanie Fernandes

IET YWE winner Abbie Hutty, Peter Lilley MP and IET policy advisor Stephanie Fernandes with the Airbus Mars Rover.

January’s policy update from the IET.

Recent highlights of the IET's work with the UK Government include recognition from MPs for this year's Young Woman Engineer of the Year winners, the next phase of the Perkins' Review of Engineering Skills, and a range of activities to influence MPs - on topics including smart buildings, skills and manufacturing.


Women engineers receive recognition from MPs

Following on from being named IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE), Abbie Hutty met with her local MP, Peter Lilley, at Airbus in Stevenage. Mr Lilley was given a tour of the building and Abbie discussed her work on satellites and the recent Mars Rover project.

Mr Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said: “Abbie is a fantastic ambassador for a career in engineering. As a nation we need to attract all the talented potential engineers – particularly young women who at present wrongly assume this is not a career for them - into this exciting and vital profession.”

The 2013 Women's Engineering Society (WES) Prize winner, Yasmin Ali, also met with her local MP, Patrick Mercer, at his offices in Westminster, London.

Yasmin said: “It was great meeting my local MP to talk about the issues around encouraging more women into engineering. He congratulated me and offered his support if I ever have any events in his constituency.”

Another YWE finalist, Victoria Martin, received a letter of congratulations from her local MP, home secretary Theresa May. You can see Victoria’s letter on Twitter.

Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, also mentioned the YWE competition in Parliament. He said: “Sara Underwood, a higher apprentice with Rolls-Royce at Barnoldswick in my constituency, was recently awarded the Mary George Memorial Prize as part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards. Will the Minister join me in congratulating Sara on her achievement and Rolls-Royce on its exceptional apprenticeship scheme?”


Department for Business, Innovation and Skills requests further IET input

Professor John Perkins, chief scientific advisor to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has extended the secondment of Stephanie Fernandes, the IET’s principal policy advisor for education and innovation, to BIS, to assist with the next phase of the Perkins' Review of Engineering Skills. Stephanie has been working with BIS since May 2013, assisting with the Perkins' Review.

IET head of policy Paul Davies joined skills minister Matthew Hancock MP and Professor John Perkins on a Daily Telegraph panel to discuss engineering education and apprenticeships. Paul was quoted in the subsequent article published in The Daily Telegraph.


IET’s work to influence MPs

Hugh Boyes from the IET’s IT Policy Panel provided a briefing in December to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the subject of Big Data.

In a written Parliamentary answer, Brandon Lewis MP, under secretary of state for London, local government and planning, cited the IET’s guidance on how to protect the technology that underpins smart buildings.

Following on from the successful skills pledge event in the House of Commons, Duncan Hames MP contacted his local IET schools liaison officer (SLO) to seek further information on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education in his constituency. IET staff also met with Robert Buckland MP to discuss skills issues. Stephen McPartland (MP for Stevenage) mentioned the IET in a debate over women and the cost of living, referencing the need to support women in science and technology careers.

The shadow minister for universities, science and skills, Liam Byrne MP, attended the IET’s Education Policy Panel meeting to discuss the importance of STEM skills in achieving economic growth.

The All Party Manufacturing Group launched a report Making Good: a study of culture and competitiveness in UK manufacturing at an event in Parliament. The report outlines the findings of their eight month inquiry into UK manufacturing. Chairman of the IET’s Manufacturing Policy Panel Professor Steve Evans sat on the inquiry steering committee, along with Professor Colin Davis, who is also member of the Manufacturing Policy Panel.