Making its initial response to the Gibson Review of Engineering Construction the Government has committed to:
- Provide an additional £4.5 million to fund more engineering apprenticeships and trainees.
- Work with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board to ensure that the industry's training levy is fairly applied to all firms working in the industry, including non-UK firms.
As a result of the increased funding, opportunities for young people to train for skilled jobs could double to 1,200 by 2011.
Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson also announced the creation of a new cross-industry body to promote change in the engineering construction sector to be chaired by Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish & Southern Energy.
Announcing the extra funding, Mandelson said:
"The engineering construction sector employs around 60,000 people in the UK. This new investment means that more home grown workers will be provided with the skills and experience needed to design, build and maintain the country's new power stations and energy infrastructure."
Ian Marchant echoed these sentiments, saying:
"The UK's engineering construction industry needs more people with more skills and better productivity if it is to play a full part in the transformation of the UK's power stations, oil refineries and chemical plants that we will see over the next two decades. One of the key risks to the overhaul of the country's asset base is that it lacks the engineers to do the work. Over the next 18 months, I expect the new cross-industry forum to set out a practical and comprehensive plan to turn this risk into an opportunity for the UK to improve skills, create jobs and provide work for a growing number of successful engineering construction companies."