More people need to take up engineering careers if a skills gap is to be avoided in the future.
The stark warning came only days after it was revealed that one Falkirk secondary school has axed technological studies from its list of Higher exam options.
A furious dad hit out at the decision by senior staff at St Mungo’s High. James Bruce said it was “detrimental” to his son’s education and other classmates who wanted to continue studying the subject.
This week his argument was backed by leading professionals in the engineering industry.
Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, said: “There is still a widespread failure to grasp the scale of the skills gap facing the UK. We need 100,000 professionals each year to give our country any chance of sustainable growth for the future.”
He was backed by Dr Rhys Morgan, director of engineering and education at the Royal Academy of Engineering. He said: “Generally speaking we want to enable young people to have as many routes open to them as possible to pursue careers in engineering. Engineering is a broad profession with many jobs at many levels of employment.
“Individuals can follow academic pathways to university and graduate level jobs or more vocational routes to engineering technician roles. Both professional engineers and professional technicians are hugely important roles and highly valued in our profession and by engineering employers.
“We would like to see employers work more closely with colleges in the further education sector to highlight their skills needs and ensure there is provision for much needed skills for industry.”
Falkirk Council has said if pupils can find another school offering tech studies they will allow them to sit the course.