LONDON The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) is changing its name to become EngineeringUK.
EngineeringUK says its new name reflects a change of approach over the past year. Working with partners in the engineering institutions, business and industry and the education sector, it has focused on three core work streams: the UK’s biggest science and engineering event for young people, The Big Bang; a program of school activity called 'Tomorrow’s Engineers' and raising the profile of engineering and technology through the media and with policy makers.
The organization has also released a report which paints a promising picture for engineering in the current political and economic climate.
The report contains research which shows 8 out of 10 people (85 percent) would now be willing to recommend an engineering career to family and friends. It also demonstrates that, despite a short-term fall in engineering vacancies, engineering salaries have increased 2.2 percent this year.
In addition, long term demand for engineers remains high, with a need to recruit over half a million (587,000) manufacturing workers with state-of the-art-skills by 2017.
However, the report says the sector still faces several key challenges in terms of supply. There has been a 30 percent decrease in Further Education (FE) Lecturers in engineering and manufacturing, and this could be linked to a shortage of advanced engineering skills (level three and above).
There has also been a 17 percent drop in the number of Higher Education students going into production and manufacturing Engineering degrees. Only 11.6 percent of registered engineers are female.
“There has never been a more crucial time for engineering,” said Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK. “With 8 out of 10 people willing to recommend engineering careers to family and friends, we now have a real window of opportunity to persuade the wider world of the benefits and rewards they can bring. In order to do this however, we must first address a number of challenges, not least increasing the number of Further Education lecturers in engineering, and improving perceptions of engineering and manufacturing across the gender divide.”
“At EngineeringUK we believe engineers will play a key role in addressing the global challenges of the 21st Century, and we will work tirelessly to ensure this is the case, improving careers information, advice and guidance, and perceptions of engineering overall.”