Engineers call for political parties to pay greater attention to training

Greater investment in STEM apprenticeship schemes is a top priority to UK engineers, according to
Matchtech’s ‘Engineers’ manifesto’.

Supporting the growth of UK engineering talent has not been singled out in any of the main parties’ manifestos despite significant growth of the sector and its vital role in supporting infrastructure development.

Two fifths of UK engineers believe that greater investment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) apprenticeship schemes should be included in political parties’ manifestos, making it their top priority.

Matchtech asked over 3,500 UK engineers about the policies they would like political parties to include in their manifestos to drive growth and recruitment in the engineering sector and secure its future as a global centre of engineering excellence.

The ‘Engineers’ manifesto’ reveals:

1) 41% want greater investment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) apprenticeship schemes
2) 29% want a reduction in University fees or provision of additional financial support for those studying STEM subjects
3) 26% want to see a clear strategy for future investment in UK energy infrastructure and clarity on the energy mix (e.g. renewables vs. fossil fuels)
4) 26% want more infrastructure investment to boost jobs and create a foundation for future economic growth
5) 21% want greater tax breaks and subsidies for organisations investing in engineering and industrial research and development
6) 20% want a reduction in corporation tax for manufacturing and engineering related businesses
7) 17% want to maintain UK membership of the EU
8) 14% want the UK to withdraw from EU membership
9) 13% want to see an increase in the number of hours pupils are required to spend studying STEM subjects in schools and colleges
10) 13% want investment in a campaign to get more STEM graduates to go on and pursue engineering careers
11) 6% want work visa and immigration laws relaxed for skilled engineering professionals
12) 2% want a minimum quota for the employment of female engineers

Keith Lewis, chief operating officer, Matchtech Group Plc states: “All parties have highlighted the importance of infrastructure and housing in the UK economy, yet none have announced any policies that will support UK engineering, which provides the foundation for economic growth. There needs to be a focussed effort by the next government to ensure that the UK has the engineering talent it needs.

“Over the past year or so, there has been a surge in investment in infrastructure projects and as recent car registration figures have indicated, many engineering based industries are feeling the benefits of the improving economy. However, we need skilled engineers to support this investment and business growth, and clearly engineers believe more needs to be done to ensure this vital sector prospers in the long term.

“Presently a shortage of trained engineers creates a challenge for the future of UK engineering, with uncertainty for businesses that need engineering talent to deliver on new projects and grow profits.”

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