Educating Tomorrow's Engineers

Educating Tomorrow's Engineers

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In the UK we teach young people to become computer users and consumers rather than programmers and software engineers. This is creating a chronic skills gap in ICT. We need around 82, 000 engineers and technicians just to deal with retirements up to 2016 and 830, 000 SET professionals by 2020. On the plus side, the Government's proposal to include computer science as a fourth science option to count towards the EBac is welcomed. The Committee also welcomes the EBac's focus on attainment of mathematics and science GCSEs but is concerned that subjects such as Design and Technology (DaT) might be marginalised. A Technical Baccalaureate (TechBac) is being designed but if it is to be a success, schools should be incentivised to focus on the TechBac by making it equivalent to the EBac. Reforms to vocational education following the Wolf Review meant that Level 2 of the Engineering Diploma, a qualification highly regarded, would count as equivalent to one GCSE despite requiring curriculum time and effort equivalent to several GCSEs. The Engineering Diploma, however, is currently being redesigned as four separate qualifications. The Committee also expressed concerns over the Department for Education's (DfE) lack of clarity on its research budget, and use of evidence in decision-making. The DfE needs to place greater focus on gathering evidence before changes to qualifications are made, and must leave sufficient time for evidence to be gathered on the effectiveness of policies before introducing further change. The possibility of gathering evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) should be seriously consideredFor example, after doing the programme, a top-flight physics engineer with Airbus had three promotions because it gave ... You are right that for the last 10 years it has gone from 19% to 21% and 6% in terms of engineering apprenticeships.

Title:Educating Tomorrow's Engineers
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Science and Technology Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2013-02-08


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