After years of being ignored by politicians and the media, UK manufacturing is back on the national agenda, the Academy’s Chief Executive, Philip Greenish, told delegates at the National Manufacturing Debate on May 25.

Although the UK still has a mountain to climb to rebuild manufacturing capacity to the level it should be, Mr Greenish said he was optimistic.

“The Coalition Government’s Plan for Growthhighlights four ambitions - competitive tax, business start-up and growth, investment and exports, and workforce education. What we must ask of government is the practical roadmap that is going to deliver it,” Mr Greenish said.

Other speakers at the two-day Cranfield University event included Minister for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk MP and Sir Alan Rudge FREng FRS, Chairman of the ERA Foundation.

Mr Greenish asked why nations such as Germany were successful in sectors where the UK had struggled, before setting out what should be done, including how the work of the Academy sits in the overall mix.

He identified issues relating to attitudes, skills, the research environment and the business environment.

Outlining the contribution of the Academy, Mr Greenish described its work to influence public perception of engineering, to work with government on developing policy and to secure the next generation of skilled engineers at all levels. Increasingly, these areas of work were being undertaken in partnerships with the engineering profession, industry and the education sector.

“The Academy’s simple mantra is to place engineering back at the centre of society,” he added.

Notes for editors

The Royal Academy of Engineering

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

Ed Holmes on 0207 766 0655