Engineers Make Significant Contributions to the Economy
Research published today (17 December) in an Engineering Council report, 'Engineers for Britain - the state of the profession towards 2000', shows that the presence of qualified professional engineers in the workforce increases both a company's profitability and the UK's productivity - factors that are essential to the nation's economic growth.
The UK Government consistently claims that engineering contributes just eight percent to UK GDP. However, our report illustrates clearly that the engineering profession impacts on all aspects of our daily life and is of critical importance to our future development', said Malcolm Shirley, director general of the Engineering Council.
'The engineering profession is at a crossroads, with the boundaries of engineering constantly expanding. From financial analysis to mobile telecommunications to supermarket electronic-point-of sale (EPOS) systems, engineering underpins the whole of modern life. In the new knowledge-driven economy, engineering's true contribution to GDP in this country is vast.'
Chapter by chapter, 'Engineers for Britain' charts the progress of the creation, formation and development of professional engineers and technicians across the UK. Drawing on recent research from a comprehensive range of authoritative sources as well as new research commissioned by the Engineering Council, the report presents data on secondary, further and higher education and first destinations of engineering graduates.
The career paths of professional engineers are also analysed with a detailed look at earnings, employment conditions and how engineers contribute to the success of the economy at every level. The report offers comment on the background to problems such as the growing skills shortages in engineering, rooted in young people's misperceptions about exactly what engineering is and what an engineer actually does - misperceptions that are reflected in the decline in numbers of high quality students taking up engineering courses.
Looking back over the last century, the report also gives a snapshot of the leap in technological advances this century has seen, illustrated by the massive growth in the numbers of professional engineers practising from 1899 to 1999.
Issued by the Engineering Council, 17 December 1999.
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