Plant & Works Engineering

Green economy & engineering skills given thumbs up in new research

Published:  17 April, 2013

The latest Attitudes to UK Industry report shows that UK adults believe that rewewables are the environmental and economic future for our country though a significant number urge caution about how realistically we can keep up with global competitors. The survey, sponsored by technical communications company CadenceFisher in association with Plant & Works Engineering, also found that most believe that teaching skills for industry should be prioritised over all others. Further key findings in the survey, conducted among 2008 adults by Populus include:

Three in four UK adults (76%) believe that renewable energy is the future for the planet and will be important to the global economy of the future. They would like to see government initiatives to support the renewables industry including investment plans and tax breaks.

This view is fairly evenly spread across all age ranges and between men and women. However, more than one in four (29%) say that the reality is that the UK will not be able to keep up, and government support is better used in traditional industry such as automobiles.

Just one in five (20%) is persuaded to the view that as new ways of extracting and getting the best from fossil fuels and abundant natural gas drives down the price of energy, the currently more expensive renewables will be pushed out of the market. Nearly one in four men (24%) compared to 16% of women take this position.

Nearly one in two (46%) say they would like to see the government invest in a new generation of nuclear power; this figure is nearly two thirds of men (60%) versus one in three women (32%).

Two in three (66%) say that Britain should be leading the way on green manufacturing.

Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Skills should be given greater priority than any others in schools and colleges according to six in ten adults (61%) but significantly this is represented by 69% of men compared to 52% of women. Younger people are less convinced that SET skills should be given greater priority than others with 47% of 18-24 year olds agreeing with this strategy.