The public needs to understand the difference between a professional engineer and a mechanic or technician
Sir, Lord Browne of Madingley makes some telling points about engineering in the UK (“Engineering has an image problem, says ex-BP boss,” Oct 26) but they are not new. Engineers themselves know how difficult is is to dissociate the professional engineer from the central-heating technician. The public must understand that the two — important as each is in its own right — are as different from each other as the professional chef is from a burger-tosser. This is understood in the countries with which we must compete, but it isn’t understood here.
Is it any wonder that we have to go cap in hand to the Chinese when we want to build a nuclear power station, or that we provide poor education choices to young people who could be interested in engineering?
Unless the profession is better understood it will never get the support it desperately needs from the educational and financial sectors. The skills that helped to create the industrial revolution will inexorably drift away, and it will be increasingly difficult to correct the situation.
Hampton Wick, Surrey