THE skills gap in UK engineering has taught us that there is no such thing as quick fix - says Wotton-under-Edge based Renishaw.

A letter written on behalf of the company's chairman and chief executive Sir David McMurtry describes the difficulty faced by modern engineering companies.

"British engineering will only progress through sustained collaborative efforts, consistency and a cultural shift," the letter reads.

"As the Perkins Review highlighted last year, parents, teachers, employers and the Government should collaborate to encourage young people from any background to regard engineering as a fulfilling and exciting career.

"However, collaboration is nothing without consistency. Genuine passion is cultivated in our early years. A child who regards science class as a chore is unlikely to become an accomplished engineer. Children should be encouraged and motivated to see how science can help them understand and change the world and the message should be reinforced constantly during school years."

Going on to discuss "outmoded stereotypes" the letter insists that engineering welcomes both genders, using employee Lucy Ackland.

Ms Ackland, who won the Women’s Engineering Society Prize at the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, persuaded her teachers that she wanted to leave school at 16 to become an apprentice at Renishaw.

She went on to achieve a first class honours engineering degree and has led a project team developing the company's next generation of metal 3D printing machine.

As a leading UK engineering company, Renishaw, the letter suggests, should have been among the first whose recruitment suffered as a result of the skills gap.

However, the number of apprentice and graduate applications has trebled in the last few years, as a direct result of collaborations with schools, universities, STEM-based organisations, career advisors and Government agencies.

Concluding, the letter reads: "There is no hasty remedy for the UK’s shortage of engineers. The only solution is a continuous, combined effort to make the profession more appealing to young people, their parents and teachers.

"It won’t take one year, five or ten. It is a perennial commitment that we make to future generations."