Addressing the burgeoning skills gap within engineering and the promotion of apprenticeships is something that we regularly champion within these pages.

The need for doing so has been further highlighted by a recent report from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) which has claimed that as many as one in five 21 year olds must enter the engineering profession each year until 2020 to overcome skills shortages – a worrying statistic when you consider the SMF also states that the industry is already 40,000 short of the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), students it needs each year – a problem that will get worse as the engineering workforce ages and retires.

The UK has all sorts of future targets to meet regarding the economy, and energy and the environment. However, these figures around engineering skills are surely the most pertinent ones that need addressing, and are the obvious place to start in terms of turning things around, as without the engineering talent and captains of industry of tomorrow, how will UK industry fulfill its huge potential in the years to come?

Click here to view the digital issue for April 2013.

Joe Bush, Editor