UK engineering profession launches policy priorities

The Engineering Council has contributed to a new set of policy priorities unveiled by the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC), led by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

In the document ‘Engineering a resilient and prosperous future: policy priorities for the next UK parliament’, the engineering profession is calling for the next government ‘to be bold, and take a holistic, long-term approach to tackling complex challenges and building sustainable economic growth, helping to improve people’s lives’.

Engineering experts from 42 professional engineering organisations – together representing over 700,000 engineers across the UK – outline the role of engineering in meeting the UK’s needs. The RAEng said: “Reversing persistently low economic growth is essential, and cannot be done without fostering innovation, supporting small businesses, and investing in strategic sectors. This will enable the UK to tackle climate change, upgrade our ageing infrastructure, and build warm and healthy homes.”

As well as ‘an ambitious approach to industrial strategy’, the NEPC also calls on the new government to create a framework for sustainable economic growth by ‘taking a systems approach’ to policy, including the commitment to Net Zero, delivering a National Engineering and Technology Workforce Strategy, and ‘futureproofing UK infrastructure to deliver sustainable, resilient and healthy spaces’.

President of the RAEng, Professor Sir Jim McDonald (pictured), said: “More than eight million people work in the UK’s engineering economy, and the profession generates up to an estimated £645 bn gross value added to the economy annually. For the UK to leverage that impressive engineering and technological strength, the new government needs to pursue a clear industrial strategy, underpinned by large-scale, targeted support to key sectors, as many of our competitor nations have succeeded in doing. The choice is clear: we must create an environment that supports companies here, or they will go elsewhere.”

Engineering Council CEO, Paul Bailey, added: “Ethics, sustainability, and acting in society’s best interests are already prominent features in the standards the Engineering Council has developed with the engineering profession. At a time when engineers have such a vital role to play in solving complex national and global problems, it has never been more important for us to uphold those standards and live up to the trust society places in engineering.”


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