Policy update

25 July 2014
IET Communications team
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David Howard and Liam Byrne MP

Chair of the IET Education Policy Panel David Howard with Liam Byrne MP.

An update on the IET’s work with the UK Government.

The IET’s Policy Panels have been making great progress with parliamentarians, policy makers and leading industry figures across various sectors of engineering and technology.


Skills roundtable

On 27 June, we held a roundtable event in Birmingham to discuss science, innovation and skills shortages with Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills.

The event was a joint effort from our Corporate Partners, Academic Partners and Education Policy Panel, and was an opportunity to discuss future priorities for skills.


Manufacturing report

In May, Engineering the Future, an alliance of professional institutions including the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IET and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, published a report on modern manufacturing.

Through a series of interviews, the report finds that UK manufacturing is a vibrant and resourceful part of the economy that is well-placed to deliver growth in globalised markets, to the benefit of the UK economy as a whole.

The report was featured in an article in the Financial Times, which said: “In a recent report, the Engineering the Future group, an alliance of professional engineering institutions and national organisations, wrote that a lack of people with engineering and science knowledge is “a potentially severe constraint” on the growth of manufacturing output in Britain.

“The report warns that smaller companies unable to afford to train employees internally may suffer if the deficit is not addressed. The shrinking pool of engineering talent will be mopped up by rising demand from larger, better capitalised manufacturers.”

Big Energy Debate

We are a strategic partner in The Guardian newspaper’s Big Energy Debate. This campaign is raising awareness of the issues surrounding the ‘energy trilemma’ of prices, carbon reduction targets and energy security.

Our participation is enabling us to raise our profile through parliamentary round tables and relationships with key journalists and, crucially, to inject a strong engineering dimension into the debate. The most recent event was attended by Chair of our Energy Policy Panel Dr Simon Harrison.


Intellectual property awareness

To celebrate World Intellectual Property Day 2014, the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) organised an evening seminar at the Palace of Westminster, sponsored by the IET.

The event theme was ‘Making the UK attractive for IP-rich industries’. It was an opportunity to demonstrate that the engineering professions recognise the importance of, and the need for, IP awareness.

MPs, Lords, academics, industrialists and representatives from involved organisations made up the 120 guests. The speakers included Viscount Younger, Mike Weatherley MP, and Jaguar’s Ian Callum.

The IET is the sole professional engineering body represented on IPAN.