The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has published a report summarising the key features of recent government initiatives which will impact engineering the education and skills systems in England. Most recently these have been the industrial strategy green paper and the budget supporting technical education. The purpose of the paper is to make recommendations based on an overview where interactions between initiatives could be improved.
The paper has a specific emphasis on further education, technician skills and Apprenticeships. Attention is also drawn to opportunities that have so far been missed, to increase the availability of engineering talent to meet industry needs.
The report identifies key issues such as the need for professional engineering institutions to use their unique position to uphold standards of personal competence as systems change. It finds that institutions’ work should be based on providing guidance for their members on skills and that they must adapt to offer standards for all Vocational Qualification levels as well as those that naturally fit the existing Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) grades of professional registration.
The paper finds that Apprenticeships need to focus not only on quality but also on perceptions and awareness. IMechE highlights that the Apprenticeship levy will bring a boost in resources but must also drive change in behaviour. It cites the use of UCAS to promote degree apprenticeships alongside other degree course as an excellent example of progress.
According to the paper incentives are needed to encourage more STEM graduates into teaching in schools, while in further education, the assessment of how colleges train and maintain the professional learning of their lecturers needs to be an explicit and a critical part of Ofsted inspections.
Please click to view the report