Manufacturing –a Terminal Case?

  A Personal Perspective “In June 2002 manufacturing output fell by 5.3% the largest decline since 1979” “500,000 jobs lost in manufacturing since 1997”. Here Dick Evans offers a detailed explanation of the causes and suggests some practical ways forward. Hardly a day passes without the press and media reporting the ongoing problem with manufacturing in this country. This state of affairs is not new – it’s been occurring over the past few decades with many commentators predicting the impending demise of this essential and strategically important activity. The issue of manufacturing in this country has not really seriously figured

21st Century Skills

Realising Our Potential, The Skills Strategy White Paper. This was a real opportunity to provide a lead in combating future skill shortages, however Dr Dick Evans wonders whether anything tangible has been offered. The aim of the national Skills Strategy is to ensure that employers have the right skills to support the success of their businesses and individuals have the skills they need to be both employable and personally fulfilled. I intend to adopt a different perspective in reviewing the White Paper. Other contributors to ‘t’ magazine will provide a detailed analysis of the proposals and recommendations contained in the

Short on skills: Part 5

Languages This article by Dick Evans, Principal of Stockport FE College, is the penultimate in a series looking at issues associated with a number of strategically important subjects, and skills. Others have included engineering, manufacturing, construction, mathematics and science. The difficulties with these subjects reflect fundamental problems we are experiencing in terms of competing successfully in a global economy, producing and sustaining a highly qualified workforce and improving productivity. Skill shortages in this country are often associated with science and technical subjects but one that has been very longstanding, and, in some ways has a number of different causes from

Building Foundations

The key Government agendas in education and training are standards, skills and widening participation. How will they be realised? FE College Principal, Dick Evans, looks at the new building blocks. The Government has set an objective that half of all young people should benefit from higher education by the age of thirty. The belief is that once standards in schools and colleges are raised, they then expect to see a significant increase in the demand for places in higher education. Raised levels of achievement will inevitably raise expectation by students to progress on to HE programmes of study. This additional

A Real Skills Shortage (Part 2)

Part Two of Dick Evans article explores the issues and the current health of education and training in engineering and related disciplines in the post-16 sectors. It is at the post-16 stage that a clearer picture emerges about the future shape of engineering education and training. After the compulsory stage of education one can become more confident (or pessimistic) of the likely ‘flow’ of engineers and potential engineers into employment and/or further and higher education studies. Further Education The first difficulty presented when investigating further and vocational education training in FE is the lack of a reliable and up-to-date statistical

A Real Skills Shortage (Part 1)

In a two-part article, Dick Evans, Principal of Stockport College, considers the current state of education and training of people wishing to take up careers in engineering and manufacturing based industries. In spite of the dramatic (and much discussed) decline in this country’s engineering and manufacturing base, it still represents a significant proportion of our exports and gross domestic product. The UK engineering and manufacturing industry operates in such areas as aerospace, automotive components, general machinery and equipment and process industries. The industries employ approximately 1.7 million people and accounts for 50% of all our fixed investment expenditure of £50billion.

Short on skills: Part 4

Science. Dick Evans continues his series looking at issues associated with a number of strategically important subjects, for example engineering, manufacturing, construction and mathematics. The difficulties with the subjects above reflect many of the issues associated with the fundamental problems that this country is experiencing in terms of competing successfully in a global economy, producing and sustaining a highly qualified workforce and improving productivity. The previous articles have shown that a number of the difficulties are associated with the education and training programmes, whether at school or post-school stages. This article focuses on science as, along with mathematics, it is


On 23 April 1996 the Foundation held a lecture and dinner discussion under the title “Whence the Skilled Technician?” The Lord Butterworth CBE DL was in the chair and the evening was sponsored by the Engineering Council and the Engineering Training Authority. The speakers were Mr John Spensley, operations manager, Graseby’s pic, Mr Victor Lucas, senior inspector (Engineering), FEFC and Dr R.G. Evans, Principal, Stockport College of Further Education and Higher Education. Summary of talk by Dr Evans who said there was still no long-term strategic framework for education and training in the country. The need for an urgent review

Managing Supply and Demand

In this article Dr Dick Evans Principal of Stockport College further develops his arguments in favour of major research into major skill needs in the UK. In order for this country to compete in the global economies it must, once and for all, develop long term strategies for education and training, including the essential need for lifelong learning. The country must more fully recognise the consequences of the various transformations that are occurring at an ever accelerating rate in employment and in society in general. This certainly will require a fundamental and comprehensive reappraisal and redefinition of education and training


Under the intriguing title ‘Let’s hear it for manufacturing and construction’, Dr R.G. Evans, Principal, Stockport College of Further & Higher Education, has submitted the following interesting contribution. Introduction We live in an interesting world at present, full of contradictory and paradoxical policies, whether these be financial or political, where this country still lacks a definitive and clearly articulated long-term strategic framework for post-16 education and training. There is still uncertainty about the future of manufacturing in this country, and how this country can improve its performance and competitiveness within the global economy. One classic example is the future shape