The Conservatives are planning a manufacturing summit later this year, aimed at policy solutions for helping British industry. Today’s Telegraph reports that an overhaul of tuition fees is being considered, aimed at encouraging higher numbers to study engineers and science degrees. The Shadow Business and Enterprise Secretary Alan Duncan is quoted as saying:
"It seemed clear to me that we have to get more people through education and into the engineering sector. Maybe students could get cheaper loans or some subsidy at the end of their education. We are in the process of looking at the options. But we want to incentivise engineering graduates if we can."
Rolls Royce, where Duncan and other Tory MPs spent a week earlier this summer, has declined to comment on the idea. The EEF group for engineering employers welcomed the idea:
"We would have to see more detail and discuss the options. But manufacturers are reporting problems getting skilled people, and anything that can ease that situation is a good idea."