Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee

6 February 2008

No. 25 (07-08)



The Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee announced on 29 January 2008 that it would be holding a major inquiry into engineering.

The following terms of reference have now been agreed for this inquiry:

  • the role of engineering and engineers in UK society;

  • the role of engineering and engineers in UK's innovation drive;

  • the state of the engineering skills base in the UK, including the supply of engineers and issues of diversity (for example, gender and age profile);

  • the importance of engineering to R&D and the contribution of R&D to engineering; and

  • the roles of industry, universities, professional bodies, Government, unions and others in promoting engineering skills and the formation and development of careers in engineering.

The Committee has also agreed on the subjects of the first two case studies within this inquiry.  These are nuclear engineering and plastic electronics engineering.  Terms of reference for the case studies are on the relevant press notices.

The deadline for written submissions to the general inquiry and for the two case studies is Friday 14 March 2008.

Guidelines for the submission of evidence

Evidence should be submitted in Word format (no later than 2002), and should be sent via e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should make clear whether your submission relates solely to the main Engineering inquiry, the Plastic Electronics Engineering case study or the Nuclear Engineering case study.  The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at:

For media inquiries please call Laura Kibby on 020 7219 0718. For any other information please call Ana Ferreira, on 020 7219 2793. Previous press notices and publications are available on our website.


Committee Membership is as follows:

Mr Phil Willis (Liberal Democrat, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chairman)
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour, City of Durham)
Mr Tim Boswell (Conservative, Daventry)
Mr Ian Cawsey (Labour, Brigg & Goole)
Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
Dr Ian Gibson (Labour, Norwich North)
Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Dr Brian Iddon (Labour, Bolton South East)
Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
Dr Bob Spink (Conservative, Castle Point)
Ian Stewart (Labour, Eccles)
Mr Graham Stringer (Labour, Manchester, Blackley)
Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)
Mr Rob Wilson (Conservative, Reading East)

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