13 Influencing government and society A busy few months in the corridors of power... The IET’s Public Affairs function, which aims to influence UK engineering policy, has had a busy few months. Collaborating on the Year of Engineering The IET’s Engineering Open House Day, which took place at the beginning of August, was supported by UK MP Nusrat Ghani, Minister with responsibility for the national Year of Engineering campaign. Nusrat said: “ The Year of Engineering is all about showing young people from different backgrounds the opportunities a career in engineering offers, from good pay and benefits to job satisfaction and the chance to shape the world around us.” “That’s why it’s fantastic to see so many Year of Engineering partners across the UK opening their doors to families for the IET’s Engineering Open House Day. “By transforming perceptions of engineering, we can help ensure young people don’t miss out on what could be their dream job in a thriving sector.” Present at party conferences For the first time in a number of years, the IET was present at the UK party conferences. At the Labour and Conservative conferences, the IET co-sponsored an apprenticeships forum, enabling the IET to discuss issues around apprenticeships with key Ministers and Shadow Ministers. At the Scottish National Party conference, the IET sponsored the Business Hub. Issues discussed included skills and employability, infrastructure and connectivity, research and innovation, the digital economy and Brexit. The IET has had a number of meetings with key stakeholders in recent months. These have included the Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK Government’s Department for International Trade as well as a number of MPs from all political parties. Meanwhile, IET Chief Executive and Secretary Nigel Fine welcomed Burkina Faso’s Energy Minister, His Excellency Honourable Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo, to IET London: Savoy Place in August. He was joined by Cherif Haidara and IET member Allan Fairbairn. A look ahead… There’s still a lot to come over the remainder of 2018. The IET’s work on highlighting new approaches to Higher Education in engineering continues. In October, a UK Government Parliamentary roundtable event will take place with guests expected to include Chi Onwurah MP and Julia King, the Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE. A similar event is planned to take place at the Welsh Assembly, sponsored by Assembly Member Jack Sargeant. We’re looking forward to welcoming key politicians to IET events. In October, Apprenticeships Minister Anne Milton is due to address the IET apprenticeships conference. There’ll be a joint Parliamentary roundtable on diversity in engineering with the IMechE, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and UK publication the New Statesman. In November, Dr Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of Government Science and Engineering Profession, will give a keynote address at an IET innovation conference. We’ll also be holding our 10th annual House of Lords communications reception, kindly sponsored by Lord Broers and looking at the latest issues around 5G and broadband. The year will come to a close with a joint Parliamentary reception with the 2018 Year of Engineering campaign and LEGO® Education on 12 December. We’re expecting a number of high-profile politicians to attend this event which will celebrate the Government’s campaign. IET’s Engineering Open House Day which this year was held as part of the UK Government’s Year of Engineering November 2018 – Member News www.theiet.org/member-news