Reform to overly complex technical education system will tackle engineering skills gap head on

Reform to overly complex technical education system will tackle engineering skills gap head on

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has responded to the publication today of the Sainsbury Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education.

Nigel said: “The UK’s technical education system is overly complex and this report not only highlights this, but also offers valuable insight into how to reform it.

“Technical education is an equally valued pathway into engineering alongside the higher education route, but the UK is currently lagging behind countries such as France and Germany so reform is urgently needed to ensure that we do not fall further down the global rankings.

“More crucially, we were anticipating a shortage of nearly 2 million engineers in the UK, before any impact from Brexit, so the opportunity to reform technical education for the long term is absolutely critical.

“Particularly welcome are the clear progression routes between technical and academic education as set out in the report, which means we can encourage young people to progress from apprenticeships to degree courses and vice versa. This will improve the level of practical skills and knowledge which employers so urgently need.

“The proposed reforms to provide opportunities for high-quality, structured work placements for students to gain much needed practical and technical skills will also greatly help in improving skills levels – helping to address the skills gap the industry now faces.”

Notes to editors:
Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 167,000 members in 150 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.

The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.

We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.

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