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19 March 2024

National project to transform engineering and technology skills gets underway

Engineering and technology education is set to undergo a major re-evaluation in order to redefine the skills needed to tackle societal challenges in the coming decades, particularly those linked to climate change and rapid technological developments.


Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) on behalf of the National Engineering Policy Centre and with King’s experts at the helm, ‘Engineers 2030’ is a new policy initiative which will determine the foundational knowledge, skills and behaviours needed by engineers and technicians to meet 21st century global challenges.

The Academy’s wider goal is to harness the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone and this cannot be achieved without a skilled and informed engineering workforce.

Engineers 2030 has two phases. Phase one, which began last year, was overseen by the convention of a working group and focused on developing the vision and principles, involving a wide range of stakeholders – from educators (including King’s), professional bodies and regulators, to policymakers, technicians and business leaders.

They were asked to consider how engineers are currently educated at UK universities and to reflect on the importance of ensuring that all future engineers embed sustainability and ethical and inclusive design at the heart of their practice.

Phase two, which launched on 18 March 2024 and will be chaired by Professor Bashir M. Al-Hashimi CBE, Vice President (Research & Innovation) at King’s, will centre around engagement and implementation of Engineers 2030, considering the policies needed to deliver the transformation required in the UK.

It has never been more important to ensure that we are educating and equipping our engineering workforce of tomorrow with the skills, knowledge and values they need to address such major societal challenges. Engineers 2030 is about accelerating change and helping engineers and technicians to understand how their roles will help to achieve a sustainable society and a prosperous economy for the future.

Professor Bashir M. Al-Hashimi CBE, Vice President (Research & Innovation)

Engineers 2030 serves as a forum for the engineering community and wider groups to look afresh at the essence of what it means to be engineers or technicians in the coming decades and how to attract and train them.

In the coming months, the vision will be taken ‘on the road’ as part of the continuing engagement exercise, to hear multiple and diverse views from stakeholders across professional institutes, higher education institutes and universities, schools, business and industry, along with those who don’t traditionally engage in the sector.

The engineering profession in the UK has a decades-old skills deficit and diversity challenge and now the demands on engineers are driving the need for engineering itself to be transformed to help reshape modern society. I believe this is one of the most critical challenges that we face in engineering today. A new approach is gradually emerging, but it needs to be better defined, more widely agreed, and sharply accelerated.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald GBE FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering

In this story

Bashir M. Al-Hashimi

Vice President (Research & Innovation)