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Engineering skills shortage gets parliamentary attention

06 February 2008

The Innovation, Universities and Skills Select Committee has launched a parliamentary inquiry focussing on the provision of engineering skills in the UK.

Houses of Parliament
Houses of Parliament

Industry business group, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has welcomed the MPs’ move and called for industry-wide consensus on finding a solution to the problem. A recent ACE report, Skills Shortages and Recruitment Agency Behaviours, examined the issue in some detail, concluding that the shortages are not just a future possibility but are already severely affecting UK businesses.

Nelson Ogunshakin, chief executive of ACE, called the industry to action saying: ‘Our recent investigation shows that there are today 20,000 unfilled vacancies in the consultancy and engineering sector alone.’

He added: ‘This is fundamentally about education and about the numbers of suitably qualified engineering graduates coming through our universities, of which at present there are simply not enough. As trainee teachers are attracted to study through the waiving of fees, so engineers should be provided with similar incentives. Many of the record numbers of graduates coming out of our universities cannot find work. We must find a way to divert our human resources to where they are most needed’.

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