The aerospace and defence industry has expressed its support for a new international prize in engineering, along the lines of the Nobel Prize, as touted by government in last week’s Plan for Growth.
Government says it is working with the private sector to create an endowment for the prize with the aim of making “engineering a desirable profession again, where young people aspire to be great engineers.”
The prize would have a wide scope, incorporating every type of science applied to improving human life and sustaining the natural world within the bracket of engineering.
ADS, the aerospace, defence and securities trade organisation has voiced its support for such a move, which Ian Godden, chairman of the body, called “an excellent idea”.
“The UK is a world-leader in several areas of advanced manufacturing and engineering, such as aerospace and defence, but to maintain this lucrative position we must invest in the next generation of highly-skilled engineers given the highly-competitive nature of today’s global economy,” he said.
“Existing strong nations such as the US, France, Spain and Germany are seeking to grow their market share at our expense while emerging countries such as Brazil, India and China are also building up their capabilities. If we are to stay at the top of the tree in advanced manufacturing then ideas such as this one, which will seize the attention of current students to aspire to global greatness, must be strongly supported by all in UK engineering.”
He pointed out that the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors employ over half a million people across the whole country and contribute over £60 billion per year to the UK economy. These sectors make up around a quarter of all UK manufacturing.