Our open letter to the Government to help tackle the UK’s engineering skills shortage

The engineering skills gap is not a new issue. In fact, over the past 15 years, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has been urging every government that there is a crisis brewing.

With still a shortfall of over 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, now is the time we want action from the Government to invest in our children, who will be our engineering innovators of the future.

Led by Professor Danielle George MBE, Immediate Past President of the IET and Engineering Kids’ Futures ambassador, we are calling on the Government to plug the nation’s growing STEM skills gap, which is costing the economy a shocking £1.5bn per annum.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by the likes of Dr Iain Baillie, President of BINDT, and CEO of WISE, Kay Hussain, as well as more than 150 others including Major Tim Peake, Carol Vorderman MBE, will.i.am, and representatives from Rolls Royce, Vodafone and the MOD, we have appealed to the government to work together with educators and industry to develop practical support for teachers of our youngest children and embed engineering in their existing STEM learning.

Professor Danielle George commented on the campaign: “To ‘build back better’ and fully embrace the ‘green industrial revolution’ promised by the government it is essential to start with solid foundations. By adding more focus on misunderstood terms like engineering and technology, where we know there is a perception problem, it will help young people from all backgrounds learn vital engineering and tech skills early on and increase their career aspirations.”

Therefore, we are asking the government to join the campaign and contribute to securing our future as a nation of innovators. Innovators whose skills will be more crucial than ever in the coming decades as we tackle the global challenges posed by achieving net zero and meeting our COP26 pledges.

This isn’t a way; this is the only way to ensure we are nurturing our children’s curiosity about the advancing world around them from the earliest age and ensuring that we help our children, engineer our future.

You can read the open letter to Boris Johnson MP as part of our Engineering Kids Future campaign on the IET website at www.theiet.org/engineeringkidsfutures