Yes team seeks state help to survive

The Government must triple its funding for the Year of Engineering Success and match investment raised by industry if it is to be extended, a backer of the campaign has warned. ‘The Government has to face up to the fact that we have a problem attracting people into engineering, and must simply provide more funding […]

The Government must triple its funding for the Year of Engineering Success and match investment raised by industry if it is to be extended, a backer of the campaign has warned.

‘The Government has to face up to the fact that we have a problem attracting people into engineering, and must simply provide more funding to each of the regions,’ said Llew Alviss, personnel director at Siemens Microelectronics, and coordinator for Yes in the North East of England.

Organisers of Yes want to extend the campaign – designed to attract young people into engineering – to run for a further five years. But the plan has raised concerns among sponsors that there will be insufficient cash to get more local initiatives off the ground.

This year the Government put £500,000 into Yes, and 40 sponsoring companies each added £20,000, netting a total of about £1.3m. But some of the 14 regions were allotted a budget of only £5,000 to kick off fund-raising for a year’s campaigning.

‘Across the UK as a whole we could do with £1.5m from the DTI, to match the contribution from business. It’s not much to ask,’ said Alviss.

Some regional coordinators are facing problems raising funds from local companies. Many of them either cannot afford to pay up, or have already paid a £20,000 joining fee into the central Yes fund to become patrons.