Engineering profession calls for action to secure the UK’s future economy and society

Engineering profession calls for action to secure the UK’s future economy and society

27th August 2019

The National Engineering Policy Centre, which represents almost half a million UK engineers, has published a manifesto for a prosperous and secure economy and society, calling on the government to work with them to invest in skills, innovation, digital and traditional infrastructure, and clean energy technologies.

Published ahead of the forthcoming spending review, the UK’s exit from the EU and a possible general election, Engineering priorities for our future economy and society highlights critical policy recommendations to enhance the UK’s status as a world-leading innovation and engineering hub.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is one of the 39 UK leading engineering organisations that forms the National Engineering Policy Centre, which is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering. This is the first joint publication by this ambitious new partnership.

The Centre was established to give policymakers access to the best independent advice, skills and expertise of the engineering profession, which employs more than 5.8 million people and generates £420.5 billion of UK Gross Value Added (GVA). It aims to apply engineers’ problem-solving skills to some of the biggest challenges faced by the UK today.

There are 20 recommended actions across five key policy areas in the engineering manifesto:

  • Skills: Implement the recommendations of the Perkins Review, which sets out actions to ensure an adequate supply of engineering talent for our nation, 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 and 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 and storage technologies.

Jarka Glassey, IChemE Vice President (Technical), said:

“IChemE are delighted to be working with and supporting our peers through the National Engineering Policy Centre. In carrying out our learned society function, it is important that we highlight areas of technical and strategic competence where chemical engineers can make a difference and help effect meaningful change through collaboration.

“Chemical engineers are at the forefront of programmes addressing the Global Grand Challenges we face as a society. They have the problem-solving skills and technical expertise that makes them best placed to give policy-makers advice on how to deal with these issues.

“But we need the government to take the actions in this manifesto forward; to invest in us engineers, address the skills gap, and give us the political and financial backing to boost innovation and productivity to enable us to effect positive change to the problems we face in our society and environment.”

IChemE welcomes its members to share the manifesto with their local MP to highlight the recommendations. Members can find their MP’s contact details online and use this letter template to share the manifesto.


Engineering priorities for our future economy and society

The National Engineering Policy Centre


For more information please contact:

Rachael Fraser, Communications Executive, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534435

Ketna Mistry, Communications Executive, IChemE
t: +44 (0) 1788 534484

Victoria Runcie, Communications Manager, Royal Academy of Engineering
t: +44 (0) 20 7766 0620

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths and economics in the process of turning raw materials into everyday, and more specialist, products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.


The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. We support the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of around 37,000 members in 100 countries.

We support our members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organisation to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.

More information:

National Engineering Policy Centre

The National Engineering Policy Centre is an ambitious partnership, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, between UK engineering organisations representing 450,000 engineers.

The Centre 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. Our ambition is that the Centre will be a trusted partner for policymakers, enabling them to access excellent engineering expertise, for social and economic benefit.

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Royal Academy of Engineering

The UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – RAEng Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

The Academy harnesses their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession. 

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