March 6, 2017 report

The Future of Engineering

A report by Tata on the future of UK engineering in collaboration with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

The Tata group in the UK operates 19 companies producing everything from cars, to salt, to steel – and much else besides, including cutting edge IT services for blue chip clients, around the world Tetley Tea and even Michelin-starred food at our 5-star Taj hotel in central London.

'The UK is a world engineering leader, and it's vital for UK plc that we stay that way. We therefore welcome the Government's commitment to a new Industrial Strategy in which engineering plays a major role. We want to be part of this future'

Beyond a commitment to improving the quality of life of the communities we serve which stretches back nearly 150 years,our UK companies' activities may appear very diverse. What unites them, however, is a reliance on innovation and in most cases engineering. Tata in Europe has over 60,000 employees, many of whom are engineers, technicians and apprentices, working on everything from cloud connectivity to Artificial Intelligence to a new generation of driverless cars. Around the world, if you can think of an engineering discipline, there's almost certainly a Tata person doing it.

Engineering matters to us. It also vitally important for the UK, never more so than now, as we chart a new future for ourselves outside the European Union. The latest figures from Engineering UK 2016 report revealed that over 27% of total UK GDP is generated by engineering, amounting to £445.6billion. Employment in engineering has grown to over 5.5million and the industry now supports 14.5m jobs overall. The UK is a world engineering leader, and it's vital for UK plc that we stay that way. We therefore welcome the Government's commitment to a new Industrial Strategy in which engineering plays a major role. We want to be part of this future.

Our survey, undertaken in collaboration with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, comes at a critical time for UK engineering. The UK is experiencing a routine shortfall of almost 70,000 engineers every year.

The country still does not train enough of our young people to enter the profession – especially women and minorities. This survey captures the collective wisdom of more than a thousand members of the Institution on the key questions: what skills our engineers need, how best to inculcate those skills, the challenges that lie ahead for UK engineering, and which countries we can look to for examples of good practice. Above all the report shows us the opportunities that are out there for the taking.

We would like to thank all those who took part in the survey, as well as our three engineering leaders –Jose Lopes (Jaguar Land Rover), Julie Woods-Moss (Tata Communications), and Nick Sale (Tata Technologies) – who provided their insights for this paper. We would also like to thank the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for making the project possible.

We hope the findings and analysis of the survey can contribute to the important debate about the future of UK engineering at a vital time for our economic future.

– Dr David Landsman OBE, Executive Director, Tata Limited

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