The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced a new initiative which will look to create 100,000 registered Engineering Technicians by 2018. Working through new and established apprentice schemes, the initiative aims to create the positions by giving apprentices structured on-the-job experience built upon a recognised academic qualification. On successful completion of their apprenticeships, and by ensuring the appropriate skills and competencies are reached, each apprentice will be able to attain the globally recognised professional registration designation of Engineering Technician (EngTech).
The initiative has been created by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Gatsby Foundation in response to the emerging skills gap in the engineering and construction sectors.
Current estimates suggest that the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and manufacturing professions by 2020 in order to avoid a severe skills shortage, which could inhibit the growth of these sectors seen as vital to the UK’s economy.
Mr Cameron said: “British engineering and innovation are a part of our history that we are rightly very proud of and our engineering excellence continues to change the world that we live in for the better.
“Apprenticeships are at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy, giving young people the chance to learn a trade and to build their careers, creating a truly world-class, high-skilled workforce that can compete and thrive in the global race”
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.
The announcement of the new apprenticeship initiative was made alongside the full-size replica of the British Bloodhound Super Sonic Car on its first visit to Downing Street. The 13m 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.
The Bloodhound SSC project 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.