Employee prepares a Rolls Royce Ghost for the installation of its engine at Goodwood (Reuters)
The UK has an engineering skills shortage and employers, educators and professional bodies need to do more to address the problem.
Professor John Perkins, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, called industry partners to action following the publication of his Review of Engineering Skills report, a major analysis of the talent pipeline in the sector.
"This review sets out government plans for the future and I would encourage employers, educators and professional bodies in the industry to take note and get involved," Perkins said.
"The government is calling on the industry to support the Perkins Review and understand what can be done to encourage more young people into engineering."
Among the findings, the report revealed that the UK is relying on migration for engineering skills, with immigrants accounting for a fifth of workers in sectors such as oil and gas extraction, computer, electronic and optical engineering.
In response to the review, the government is making available nearly £49m ($78m, €57m) in funding for engineering skills, which will see up to £30m in funding in the new year for employers to address engineering skills shortages in sectors with specific needs. There is also to be a £18m investment in a new training facility at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.
"Some of the challenges facing the engineering sector start when pupils are still at school and come back to choose subjects following GCSEs," Business Secretary Vince Cable added.
"Engineers must have a strong foundation in maths and science, especially physics. The number of young people choosing these subjects post-16 is relatively low, especially amongst women."
The review, which makes 22 recommendations to boost Britain's engineering industry, was published to coincide with the start of Tomorrow's Engineers Week - a campaign to promote the benefits of a career in engineering to young people across the country, particularly to young women.
The government pledged to seed fund Tomorrow's Engineers with £250,000 so that the scheme can accelerate a nationwide rollout of its employer engagement programme aimed at encouraging school children to consider engineering careers.
The organisation is led by EngineeringUK and the Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from other organisations.
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