Mon, 27 September, 2021
TWI contributed to and supports the National Engineering Policy Centre’s (NEPC) submission to the UK Government, ‘Six Engineering Ambitions for the UK Spending Review.’
The NEPC comprises 42 organisations, including TWI, representing over 45,000 UK engineers. Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the NEPC gives policymakers a single route to advice from across the engineering profession, as well as informing and responding to policy issues of national importance, for the benefit of society.
The document (which you can see below), outlines six clear areas for investment in engineering ahead of the UK Government’s upcoming Budget and spending review for the next three years.
The six actions have been highlighted as vital to ensuring the UK has the right skills and investment in place to grow and also decarbonise the economy.
The recommended actions for government outlined in the paper include:
- Follow through on the commitment to invest £22 billion in R&D by 2024/25. This investment needs to start ramping up now to ensure it delivers the best returns for the economy and society.
- Accelerate decision-making and investment in low-regrets actions that are needed now for decarbonisation, including low-carbon retrofit and refurbishment of existing building stock, prioritising low-carbon heat, and scaling up the electric vehicle charging network.
- Establish a net zero delivery body to drive and coordinate progress across government and industry, providing systems-level analysis, sharing information on what works, and build a clear, evidence-based vision for a net zero UK.
- Urgently invest in an ambitious net zero skills plan that will enable rapid and affordable re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities for the existing workforce to meet both the short-term skills needs for transition to net zero and longer term skills needs.
- Invest in a long-term STEM education strategy, including boosting careers activities and teacher recruitment, and accelerating the expansion of inclusive, high-quality technical education and engineering apprenticeships.
- Embed long-term demand drivers into decision making on infrastructure investment to build back better with a low carbon, resource efficient and resilient infrastructure.
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, said, “The 2021 Spending Review is one of the most important in a generation, coming at a time when the UK has to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic in a more regionally equal and environmentally friendly way.
“The scale and pace of change required of government with regard to policy and investment is unprecedented. The UK’s path to net zero and its ability to decarbonise at sufficient speed and scale is contingent upon urgent decisions made by the government now, as well as on the development of a far-reaching and comprehensive transition plan.
“Engineers and the professional engineering institutions to which we belong are ready and willing to support delivery of these priorities and the time to act is now.”
TWI’s Research Director, Dr Paul Woollin FREng, commented that, “TWI is actively engaged with industry and government to ensure we use our materials, joining and structural integrity competence in support of the transition to net zero. We welcome suggestions from Members on how we can be more effective in our support to them.”
You can see the ‘Six Engineering Ambitions for the UK Spending Review’ document, here: Six engineering ambitions for the UK Spending Review - pdf - 921kb