HC Deb 13 February 1964 vol 689 cc549-50
37. Mr. Farr

asked the Minister of Education if he is satisfied that present and projected arrangements are adequate to meet the steadily increasing demand for professional engineers; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Christopher Chataway)

Between 1959 and 1962, the number of full-time and sandwich students taking advanced courses in the further education institutions for which my right hon. Friend is responsible rose from 24,000 to 38,000, and he has announced an increase in the building programme for further education from £16 million in 1964–65 to £24 million in 1965–66. He is doing all he can to make known these enlarged opportunities to suitably qualified candidates. The supply of professional engineers will also of course benefit from the Government's plan for expanding the universities.

Mr. Farr

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he not agree that in the years ahead there is likely to be a considerable shortage of professional engineers? Would he consider as a possible solution the establishment of an official register of such engineers on lines similar to those for the legal profession and the medical profession?

Mr. Chataway

That is a question for my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord President of the Council.

Mr. Albu

May I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that any such register would be a disaster for the profession?

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