In the manufacturing sector there is a growing skills gap. The government introduced The Apprenticeship Levy and investment into technology institutes in May 2017. But what else could be done? Could there be more targeted promotion and incentives for young people doing the Engineering GCSE or apprenticeships, improve the image of the industry and promote the job prospects.
But it is true I do see a lot of jobs advertised for engineers and usually specific skills are required and it’s hard to find individuals with those specific skills or experience. So the challenge in business would be therefore to be willing to train new employees and to invest in them and have a progression pathway so their salary will reflect their experience as they progress. At Hedley Hydraulics we have taken on high caliber apprentices from the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre who provide these apprentices alongside a structured training program. We recruit from both sides of the educational divide, taking both those with and without degrees; the crucial element is that they are willing people with a willing aptitude.
At a recent parents evening, I was introduced to my child’s new teacher. Who was newly qualified and taking on their first teaching post and taking over from a teacher 17 years in the position. It struck me, what most industries need is the youngest professionals working with the most experienced ones. And It would be a good collaborative approach the youngest professionals may be more willing to embrace innovation and the use of technology and the most experienced professionals could act as a mentor you can’t beat lifelong learning.