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Government study to look into skills shortage

THE GOVERNMENT this week recognised the skills shortage crisis in science and engineering by launching an independent study into the supply of engineers and highly skilled scientists.

Chancellor Gordon Brown used his Budget speech to outline the study, which aims to improve the links between business and higher education.

The study will be led by Sir Gareth Roberts, president of Wolfson College, Oxford, and is expected to be completed by February 2002.

The construction industry has already recognised that more interaction is needed between business and academia. This is demonstrated by the Construction Industry Council and the Construction Industry Training Board which have launched a working group to investigate this and other skills shortage issues (NCE 11 February).

The group will report its progress in May.

The Institution of Civil Engineers has also set up a working group to investigate the skills shortage and said this week that it looks forward to participating in the government study.

The move was welcomed by the Association of Consulting Engineers, which has been lobbying the Government to take an active role in the skills crisis for some time.

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