Open letter to the Prime Minister from the National Engineering Policy Centre

19 December 2019


Following the General Election result, the National Engineering Policy Centre, representing 39 of the UK’s leading professional engineering bodies, has published an open letter to the Prime Minister setting out its key priorities for the new government. The letter, signed by the 39 engineering bodies, makes recommendations in 5 key areas, including calling for the implementation of the Perkins Review recommendations to secure the engineering skills needed for the future.

Dear Prime Minister,

Introducing the National Engineering Policy Centre

Congratulations on your re-appointment as Prime Minister.

The UK faces increasingly complex challenges that require engineering expertise to address – from designing our cities and transport systems, to delivering clean energy, to enhancing cybersecurity. Engineering is a massive part of the economy, with nearly one in five workers in the UK employed in the engineering sector. Engineers are inventive systems thinkers, who are keen to work with policymakers to find solutions to today’s greatest challenges.

Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the National Engineering Policy Centre is a partnership of 39 of the UK’s professional engineering bodies collectively representing 450,000 engineers. It connects policymakers with critical engineering expertise to inform and respond to policy issues of national importance, giving policymakers a route to the best independent advice available from across the whole profession, and the profession a unified voice on shared challenges.

In August, we published our manifesto for the engineering sector, Engineering Priorities for Our Future Economy & Society. The manifesto makes recommendations for the new government in five key areas:

•    Skills: Implement the recommendations of the Perkins Review to secure the engineering skills needed for the future.
•    Innovation: Increase Innovate UK’s budget to boost support for business innovation and the ‘D’ of R&D to increase productivity.
•    Digital: Deliver fast and resilient digital infrastructure, a thriving business environment, excellent digital skills and a diverse pipeline of workers to create a world-leading digital economy.
•    Infrastructure: Deliver on the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Assessment or set out alternative plans to meet the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.
•    Energy & climate change: Deliver on the UK’s ambitious climate change goals by investing in demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon heat, charging of electric vehicles and carbon capture & storage technologies.

Find out more about the engineering priorities at:

We were pleased that the Conservative manifesto included policies highlighted in Engineering priorities, including investment in research, innovation, economic infrastructure and improving digital connectivity.

We look forward to working with you over the course of the new Parliament. We would be delighted if you were able to meet with representatives of the Policy Centre to discuss how we would be able to work with the new government and will follow up with your office.
With best wishes,
Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE
President, Royal Academy of Engineering

Paul Fletcher FRSA FBCS
Chief Executive, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT

John Hansen CEng MIET FINDT
President, British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing

Professor Lynne Jack CEng FCIBSE FSoPHE MIET FHEA
President, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

Martin Tugwell FCIHT
President, Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

Kevin Wellman Eng Tech FCIPHE RP MCGI FCMI MIoD FInstLM
Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering

Terry Fuller
Chief Executive, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

Louise Kingham OBE FEI
Chief Executive, Energy Institute

Alasdair Coates CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH
Chief Executive Officer, Engineering Council

Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng
Chair, Engineering UK

Professor Barry Gibbs CEng FIOA FASA FIIAV
President, Institute of Acoustics

Professor Jane Rickson CEnv FIAgrE
President, Institution of Agricultural Engineers

Nick Baveystock DL CEng FICE FInstRE CCMI
Director General and Secretary, Institution of Civil Engineers

Jon Prichard CEng FICE FInstRE
Chief Executive, Institution of Chemical Engineers

Stephen Hill FICME
President, Institute of Cast Metals Engineers

Libby Meyrick
Chief Executive, Institution of Engineering Designers

Nigel Fine CEng FICE FIET
Chief Executive and Secretary, Institution of Engineering and Technology

President, Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers

Pete Sellars CEng FIHEEM
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management

Tracey White
Chief Executive, Institution of Lighting Professionals

David Loosley
Chief Executive, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology

Dr Colin Church FIMMM CEnv MCIWM
Chief Executive, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

Professor Joe McGeough CEng FREng FRSE FIMechE
President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Professor Graham Machin FREng DSc CPhys CEng FInstP FInstMC
President, Institute of Measurement and Control

Professor Paul Hardaker FInstP FRMetS Cmet
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Physics

Professor Stephen O’Connor DSc CEng CPhys FIPEM FInstP Hon FRCP
President, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Blane Judd BEng FCGI CEng FIET
Chief Executive, Institution of Railway Signal Engineers

Martin Powell
Chief Executive, Institution of Structural Engineers

Lynn Cooper CPFA CEnv
Chief Executive, Institute of Water

Stephen Barber
Chief Executive, Permanent Way Institution

Professor Jonathan Cooper FREng FRAeS
President, Royal Aeronautical Society

Trevor Blakeley FRINA FIMarEST CEng
Chief Executive, Royal Institution of Naval Architects

Michael Sweetmore EngTech MSOE
President, Society of Operations Engineers

Professor Aamir Khalid CEng
Chief Executive, The Welding Institute

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