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'Hands-on Help for SMEs' and Smart Technical People'
The skills shortage in manufacturing and engineering has been recognised for a while now. In response there are a range of organisations and programmes that have evolved to assist companies. Most offer support, information and assistance. Costs vary but many are subsidised and some information is provided free of charge. Why not have a look around to see if any of them can assist you?
Apprenticeships, via the National Apprenticeship Service, enable companies to develop the specific skills they need for now and in the future, by training individuals on the job, in the workplace. The apprentice earns a real wage (typically lower than the cost of recruiting a fully skilled employee) and works towards nationally recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships are available in a wide variety of skills and industries.
The Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) aim to address the sector’s skills needs by working with companies of all sizes to develop their staff. The organisation provides support to employers and is targeted at different industry sectors. They also assess employers to help them identify the best way to access funds for training.
The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing is an employer-led, centre of excellence delivering the skills required by the manufacturing sector. The Skills Academy works with manufacturers to develop national standards for manufacturing training, advice and delivery. All training solutions developed and accredited by the Skills Academy are to an agreed high quality.
Introducing the mission of the National Skills Academy for Manufacturing, to improve the standard of work-based learning and help companies identify the right training for their business needs. They do this by working with employers for employers.
Learndirect offers a huge range of e-learning courses to increase skills for employees, as well as accredited qualifications. It is the biggest e-learning network of it’s kind in the world. It also offers a vast range of off-the-shelf and bespoke work-based e-learning courses for businesses. Delivering knowledge and skills via the web offers flexibility, low cost and less time offsite
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a nationwide programme that helps businesses improve through technology transfer. Typical benefits include process improvement, new products or increased sales. A KTP Associate works full-time on a project or theme embedded in the business. The KTP Associate and the business are supported by an academic partner, with the Associate often studying for a post-graduate qualification. KTP Associates are high-calibre, capable individuals.
Talent Retention Solution (TRS) is an industry led initiative which directly matches manufacturing and engineering vacancies with those seeking job opportunities. Companies can post vacancies online for free. Likewise individuals can make their availability known by logging their details. Positions are listed both by organisation and by industrial sector. Details are registered for graduates, apprentices, experienced engineers and employers. TRS is fully searchable by location and keywords.
In addition, local colleges and universities will almost certainly offer a wide selection of relevant taught and practical courses and qualifications to boost you and your colleagues’ technical skills.
Back to Skills Shortage is Critical
We constantly hear about the skills shortage in engineering and high-end manufacturing? Well according to the laws of supply and demand, a shortage of anything should increase its value. So why aren’t engineering salaries sky rocketing as a result? Or are they? What do you think?