The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes the Chancellor’s continued focus on both the environment and education announced in today’s Budget.

Tackling climate change is one of the critical issues of the day. The Chancellor’s decision to exempt all new zero carbon homes up to £500,000 from stamp duty until 2012, along with the plan to hold a competition to build Britain’s first full scale carbon capture and storage facility, are steps in the right direction. Engineering carbon capture and storage facilities could play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change. This is a good step but serious attention now needs to be paid to a whole range of means of reducing carbon emissions.

New money to support science and education is vitally important but really needs to be focussed on those areas where industry is crying out for high level skills. Skills shortages in engineering are already affecting the performance of UK businesses, according to the Academy’s research last year with Henley Management College, involving a survey of 444 companies from start–ups to internationals. The companies report shortages of suitable engineering graduates and specific gaps in problem–solving skills, application of theory to real-life problems and breadth and ability in maths.

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Tonia Page at The Royal Academy of Engineering