The scheme was announced by prime minister David Cameron yesterday during a visit to Downing Street by the Bloodhound Supersonic Car.
The multi-million pound initiative is a national drive to encourage young people to sign up to an engineering apprenticeship, getting structured on-the-job training with a recognised academic qualification leading to EngTech designation.
Working through new and established apprentice schemes, the initiative has been created by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Engineering & Technology. It is backed by £10m from the Gatsby Foundation.
Mr Cameron said: “British engineering and innovation are a part of our history that we are rightly very proud of and our engineering excellence continues to change the world that we live in for the better.”
ICE president Barry Clarke said: “If we want world class infrastructure, fit for the 21st century, we must have a world class engineering workforce to deliver it. Engineering technicians - who exercise very specialist skills and techniques and solve complex problems - form a vital part of the skills mix and ultimately help to deliver projects efficiently and on time. Our work to boost the number of technicians, and ensure they are recognised in society, is crucial if we are to have the right skills to meet the challenges ahead. The much-welcomed backing by the prime minister is testimony to its importance.”
IMechE chief executive Stephen Tetlow said: “This initiative will ensure that the UK has a growing stream of engineering technicians being developed to a level that is recognised and respected around the world. We are pleased that Mr Cameron recognises the importance of engineering technicians to the UK's engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors.”