Michael Fabricant opened the Engineering Recruitment Show at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham this morning. The Show will run for today and Saturday and exhibitors include British Aerospace, Marconi, The Royal Engineers, RAF, and JCB. The Show attracts engineers from all over the west and east midlands.
In his opening speech, Michael Fabricant said: "Over 1.8 million people are employed in engineering in this country yet the Government consistently underestimates the importance of engineering and engineers to the wealth of our nation. Using old fashioned ‘metal bashing’ definitions the Government says that only 8% of the nation’s wealth is generated by engineering when in fact it is over 40%. Of the top 100 companies in Britain, 17 are lead by engineers compared with 15 run by accountants. Nevertheless, applications for engineering places at university have fallen by around 10% and two-thirds of engineering companies are experiencing skills shortages.
"I believe that this is because the status of engineers is so low in this country. The government should make it illegal to use the term ‘engineer’ unless the individual is Chartered just like the terms ‘architect’, ‘solicitor’, and ‘doctor’ are already protected in law. It is a sad indictment of Parliament that this is not understood by the House of Commons. Engineering makes this country Great and put the ‘Great’ in Great Britain – yet only 7 out of 659 MPs are Chartered Engineers. No wonder engineers in Germany enjoy a higher status than in England and no wonder training and recruitment is so difficult nowadays".
Michael Fabricant is a Chartered Engineer being a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and is a member of the Senate of the Engineering Council, the governing body of the engineering institutions.