The civil service has made progress in recognising the importance of engineering according to a new report from the Science and Technology committee, but MPs remain concerned that few examples of good practice were highlighted across Government Departments.
Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
"If the Government is serious about rebalancing the economy it must give more of a priority to engineering advice."
The Committee commends the work of the professional engineering community and of the current Government Chief Scientific Adviser in raising the profile of engineering advice. However, the report reiterates previous recommendations that there should be a Government Chief Scientific and Engineering Adviser overseeing a Government Chief Scientist, Government Chief Engineer and a Government Chief Social Scientist.
Although the Government has formed the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) community, it is still unclear how many engineers are employed in the civil service, and whether enough engineers are engaged in policy development.
Andrew Miller MP added:
"Engineering is vitally important to society and although the Government has raised the profile of engineering over the past few years, it cannot become complacent.
This report is a continuation of the Committee's scrutiny of engineering and as such, we are excited to begin a new inquiry looking at engineering skills."
The Science and Technology Committee report Engineering in Government published today is a follow-up to the 2009 report Engineering: Turning ideas into reality. The Science and Technology Committee's new inquiry into engineering skills is also announced today with a call for written submissions.