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EngineeringUK sets out policy asks for new government

Image by Jordhan Madec on Unsplash

EngineeringUK has launched its policy asks for the next government which are centred around workforce planning and STEM education and skills. 

According to its report, Engineering Skills Needs – now and into the future 2023, engineering jobs are expected to grow faster than other occupations across the UK between now and 2030. 

And with a lack of people and skills to deliver infrastructure improvements, decarbonisation and growth, EngineeringUK  says the new government needs to urgently address skills shortages and the UK’s changing labour market needs.  

The organisation wants the next government to take a more strategic approach to address skills shortages and the UK’s changing labour market need, and for this to be led by the Cabinet Office. 

EngineeringUK  believes consolidating the work of existing skills taskforces under a new cross-departmental skills committee will encourage collaboration,  reduce siloed thinking and support the next government’s ambitions to grow the economy. 

It also wants the new government to develop a holistic STEM education and skills plan, which, if acted on, will help deliver the engineering and technology workforce that the UK so urgently needs, which will address issues and concerns in the education sector.

EngineeringUK’s policy priorities for the next government are: 

Strategic workforce planning:

  • Establish a national engineering & technology workforce strategy
  • Ensure a strategic approach to workforce planning based on workforce needs
  • Enhance diversity in the STEM workforce
  • Support international talent via appropriate immigration and visa systems
  • Link STEM education and skills planning to the strategic workforce plan

 STEM education and skills plan:

  • Deliver on careers provision
  • Grow and sustain engineering apprenticeships for young people
  • Commit to T Levels
  • Improve STEM teacher recruitment, training and retention

Head of public affairs and policy, Beatrice Barleon, said: “We are asking the next government to take urgent action on workforce planning and address the critical challenges we are facing over STEM skills and teacher shortages in schools and FE providers.

“Specifically, we want the new government in its first 100 days in office to commit to a national workforce strategy. 

“On apprenticeships and T levels, we want to see better access for young people and a commitment that T Levels will continue in England. 

“We also need a long-term careers strategy to ensure schools and colleges have the funding and up-to-date knowledge of 21st engineering careers required to support and inspire young people.”

EngineeringUK is calling on the next government to tackle the STEM teacher shortages head on and invest more in Continuous Professional Development training for STEM teachers. Evidence shows this has a positive impact on teacher retention.  

Click here to read the policy asks in full. 

If you would like to contact Karen McLauchlan about this, or any other story, please email kmclauchlan@infrastructure-intelligence.com.