Readers with long memories may recall that, in 1976, my father was President of the Institution. Those with unusually sharp memories will recall that, in his Presidential Address, he discussed the problems of attracting into our profession an adequate supply of engineers and technicians. He had spotted, at a very early stage, the downturn in birthrate which occurred in the early 1970s and was one of the first to draw attention to the problems faced by a society whose population declines in numbers.
At the time, this caused but a brief flurry of press comment. However, as we all know, the effects of a falling birthrate are now about to be felt on the labour market and have been a matter affecting the direction of the Government’s social policies for some years past.