More engineers must be a priority

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One North’s £15bn plan to improve transport, developed by Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield, highlights the growing demand for engineers, and the urgent need to ensure a pipeline of future engineering talent.

The report is a very positive step forward as it proposes a number of transport projects which would undoubtedly bring strong economic benefit to the north.

But it’s worth highlighting that these projects rely on the skills of engineers to deliver them on time and on budget.

Currently, demand for engineers remains high in the UK but companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the people they need.

This is only going to get worse as major projects such as the One North plan move a step closer to reality.

So attracting more engineers with the right skills is an absolute priority.

Another factor crucial to the success of this plan is making sure that individual transport projects are not developed in isolation.

The plan makes a strong case for an integrated transport system for the north, but when it comes to implementation of the individual projects, we must continue to look at our transport network as a whole – and on how it will impact both northern cities and the rest of the UK.

Sahar Danesh

Institution of Engineering and Technology