Engineering profession calls for action to secure the UK’s future economy and society
Published: 10 September, 2019
The National Engineering Policy Centre, which represents nearly half a million UK engineers, has published a manifesto for a prosperous and secure economy and society, calling on government to work with them 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.
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.
Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, commented: “From skills and infrastructure to energy and climate change, engineering expertise is critical to the challenges the UK faces, and the engineering profession stands ready to help policymakers navigate these. The issues we have identified here require long-term planning and action, irrespective of how the UK’s relationship with the European Union changes over the next few months.
“Through the National Engineering Policy Centre, policymakers have access to the skills, insights and ingenuity of the engineering profession. The actions we propose today will enable the UK to make investment decisions that will create jobs and prosperity and drive sustainability, helping to build an economy and society ready to face the future. We look forward to working with policymakers from across the political spectrum to achieve these aims.”