Engineers and consultants in Scotland take positive message to Holyrood parliament

ACE chief executive, Hannah Vickers, speaking at the ACE Scotland summer reception at the Scottish parliament.

The Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood in Edinburgh hosted a very well attended and successful Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) Scotland summer reception on 13 June 2019, as engineering consultants, their clients, contractors, legal professionals and politicians gathered to listen to ACE chief executive Hannah Vickers and other speakers talking about the state of the industry and its future prospects.

Vickers said she was keen to take ACE out of London and into the UK nations and regions to highlight the benefits of the consulting engineering sector to stakeholders and opinion formers. She spoke about ACE’s Future of Consultancy campaign, which was giving a voice and a platform to engineers to talk with confidence about the value they can provide in a changing industry. “Our campaign is all about trying to set out our stall about what we’re trying to achieve and where we want to be as an industry,” said Vickers. 

She said she was especially keen to reach out to Scotland’s young professionals, who were the future of the future of consultancy, and she said she was pleased to see representation at the event from ACE’s emerging professionals’ network.

ACE Scotland manager, Sam Ibbott, said he was delighted at the turnout for the event. “This is the first time for a number of years that we’ve had a summer reception and I’m delighted with the turnout this evening,” he said. “It shows that ACE Scotland and the engineering consultancy sector is in excellent health and it’s great to see so many of you at Holyrood tonight. ACE’s Future of Consultancy campaign is a real opportunity to raise the profile of our industry in Scotland and I’m delighted that we have representation from the Scottish parliament hosting us this evening,” said Ibbott.

Other speakers included ACE Scotland chair Mark Arthur, Emil Rangelov, founder and CEO of HV Systems and Brian Graham of insurance brokers Brunel Professions, who sponsored the event.

The evening’s host, Clare Adamson MSP, chair of the Scottish parliament education and skills committee and convenor of the science and technology cross party group, (pictured above) made a passionate case for the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to Scotland and its future. “As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, STEM careers will be more needed than ever and we need to ensure that we are making the case for excellent science and technology education in schools from the earliest stage,” she said.

That fourth industrial revolution would be about more than just technology-driven change, said Adamson, it was an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people from a diverse range of backgrounds to make a difference to society. Adamson said the industry in Scotland needed to engage with politicians, through the cross-party groups and through events like this one, to ensure that they were well informed about the issues affecting businesses and could influence decision makers and opinion formers. 

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