Getting some answers

Becoming editor of Eureka just as the UK emerges officially from 18 months of recession feels like fortuitous timing.

Even if the recovery is fragile and the levels of growth less than stellar, I'm sure I can't be alone in feeling cheered by the news. If the recession has shown us anything, it is that the UK economy must have balance restored to it.

Putting all our eggs in the basket of the City has proved well-nigh disastrous and, if anyone is leading this country out of recession, it is our manufacturing sector. With manufacturing output and exports rising, surely the penny will drop and Government will finally recognise the importance of engineering? But where will the next generation of engineers come from?

Innovative engineering is leading the way in reducing carbon emissions and producing alternative energy sources, but dire warnings are emerging that the current skills gap could fatally damage our hopes of meeting these targets. Surely if Government is serious about achieving these goals, it has to match that seriousness with investment in the sector most likely to help it do so?

Organised by Findlay Media, The Future of UK Manufacturing Summit, taking place on 4 March 2010 in London, will hopefully offer some answers. With key speakers from industry, government, politics, economics and industry associations, the Summit will provide UK manufacturers with an opportunity to question those whose decisions will most directly affect their future. However, while Government has a major role to play, so, too, does industry. After all, unless engineers are positive about what they do, it is asking a lot for others to be.

Paul Fanning

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