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Engineering Institutions want 100,000 new Engineering Technicians registered by 2018

21 June 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron is to announce a new initiative which will help create 100,000 registered Engineering Technicians by 2018.

Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC

Working through new and established apprentice schemes, the multi-million pound initiative aims to create 100,000 Engineering Technicians by giving them structured on-the-job experience built upon a recognised academic qualification. 

The scheme has been created by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Gatsby Foundation.

The Prime Minister will make the announcement on Monday (June 24) at 10 Downing Street alongside a full-size replica of the British Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC). The 13m long jet-and-rocket propelled car aims not only to beat the current land speed record of 763mph in 2014, but also to be the first land vehicle to exceed 1,000mph by 2015.

Current estimates suggest that the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and manufacturing professions by 2020 to avoid a severe skills shortage, which will stunt the growth of these vital sectors. 

This boost in the number of UK Engineering Technicians will significantly contribute to the nation’s engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors.

Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said of the apprenticeship initiative: "The Institution and its partners are concerned that the number of people pursuing engineering careers is just not enough to meet the current and future demands of the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors.  

“To help UK companies succeed in this ever-growing competitive global marketplace, we need people with the highest professional skills and abilities.  

“This initiative will ensure that the UK has a growing stream of Engineering Technicians being developed to a level that is recognised and respected around the world.

“We are pleased that Mr Cameron recognises the importance of Engineering Technicians to the UK’s engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors." 

Professor Barry Clarke, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers said: “If we want world class infrastructure, fit for the 21st Century, we must have a world class engineering workforce to deliver it. 

“Engineering technicians - who exercise very specialist skills and techniques and solve complex problems - form a vital part of the skills mix and ultimately help to deliver projects efficiently and on time. 

“Our work to boost the number of technicians, and ensure they are recognised in society, is crucial if we are to have the right skills to meet the challenges ahead. The much welcomed backing by the Prime Minister today is testimony to its importance.”

The Prime Minister will also meet apprentices from a number of leading manufacturing and construction companies, including Perkins Engines, Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce, MBDA, Halcrow, BBMV, NG Bailey and Mott MacDonald. In addition, Year 10 pupils from Barclay School in Stevenage, who all hope to become engineers and scientists, will meet with the Prime Minister.

The Bloodhound SSC project – sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - was launched in 2008 to help inspire the next generation of British engineers and scientists. The record attempts will be undertaken in South Africa by Wing Commander Andy Green, the current world land speed and supersonic speed record holder. 

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