By Robert Cox

A SHORTAGE of engineers has prompted Hartlebury’s MP to take the issue to Parliament.

Conservative Peter Luff said he had been told by manufacturing bosses “there just weren’t enough engineers - apprentices and graduates - to meet demand”.

Mr Luff has vowed to make the matter one of his parliamentary priorities until the next general election in 2015 and is launching a campaign to inspire more young people to take up careers in engineering, science and technology.

He said: “During my five years as Chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee in the last Parliament, and during my two-and-and-half years as a defence minister in this one, the overriding concern I heard expressed time and time again by manufacturing and technology companies was that there just weren’t enough engineers - apprentices and graduates - to meet demand.

“Engineering is one of the best paid and most secure careers a young person can choose.”

Mr Luff believes that the shortage of engineers is a serious threat to Britain’s prosperity and security and is particularly concerned about the lack of women in the industry.

He added: “However you measure the participation rate by girls in engineering it comes out around 10 or 12 per cent at best, the lowest in the EU - 27th out of 27 and when Croatia joins, it will be 28th out of 28.”

On February 13 Mr Luff will begin the campaign by addressing the House of Commons. He will introduce a Bill focusing on “the need for better resources, which will allow school pupils to learn more about careers in science, technology and engineering”.