I refer to the letter Beeching Plan (NCE last week), commenting on statistics relating to technicians. In the mid 1960s, when the ICE ceased recognition of HNC and similar qualifications, the stated aim was to build up an industry with the ratio of 1:5, engineers: technicians.
Unfortunately, the perceived opinion at the time was that technicians were nothing but failed engineers. The number of entrants to the industry enrolling for degree courses increased and this in turn led to many more graduates who went along the route to becoming chartered engineers.
The technician route has deteriorated over time, as highlighted by the number of day release courses, and indeed colleges, which have ceased to exist.
If anything I would estimate that the ratio tends in the opposite direction and that in fact the technician is a dying breed, almost an extinct species.
Michael Grounsell (M), michael. grounsell@atkins global. com