Manufacturing Industry Calls on Government to Help Close Skills Gap

The Government is being urged by senior executives to further encourage young people to pursue an engineering career in order to close the continuing skills gap.

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A Subcon survey of 600 business professionals found 67 per cent of British manufacturers are concerned about future skilled staff availability, and 72 percent think the UK Government is not promoting skills training enough.

What is the Government Doing?

It is estimated that a further 1.8 million engineers are required in the UK by 2018. The Government brought in The Apprenticeship Levy introduced T-Levels and released £170 million to be invested in technology institutions, as components of its Industrial Strategy.

90 per cent surveyed felt industries such as silicone hose manufacturers would gain from an increase of young people, while 88 per cent thought engineering is a positive career option for young people.

Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for British companies to cultivate essential skills for the expanding manufacturing industry, and to begin the next industrial revolution. They open doors and create opportunities to people like never before.

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However, some believe young people should be encouraged earlier in their education process, with added incentives for young people and women to study GCSE Engineering.

Other Strategies

Other suggestions for encouraging young people to consider manufacturing were to also promote potential opportunities in career progression, increase pay throughout and improve the image of the industry.

21st century manufacturing and engineering should be promoted in schools for females and males alike, without discrimination, and create a welcoming culture within engineering that is accepting of all enthusiastic and keen new starters.

Some of the most attractive employment characteristics for manufacturing careers include interesting and challenging assignments, appealing pay and good work-life balance. Programs to attract and women and young people in manufacturing could include mentorships.

The skills deficit will become a major problem, and it is vital not to speed the process up to satisfy the demand for new apprentices. Quality apprenticeships for valuable business such as will broaden the talent pool and drive forward the UK economy.

Whilst the UK Government could do more, the industry must also play a vital role in engaging with young people, the education process and the school system to motivate and inspire the upcoming generation of engineers.