Last week exhibited at the East Midlands Expo and what a great time we had. Like any exhibition it provided us with an excellent opportunity to network with local engineering companies across the Midlands.
Attending allowed us to reach a specific audience which our training is extremely relevant to. It also gave us the opportunity to network, enhance our reputation as a leading training provider and ultimately provide companies with the knowledge on how to upskill their workforce.
Why were we at the Expo? Let’s just say, we know our facts.
An abundance of engineering companies are predominantly Midlands based. High value engineering constitutes 6% of employees in the region and 19.5% of the working population in the UK, making the sector one of great importance. It has however, been identified that there are skill shortages within the engineering sector, particularly in the following; research and development and problem solving.
According to The IET annual survey, the “skills gap” has worsened for the ninth year in a row. This gap has not gone unnoticed either, having since become an important economic issue and one of the reasons for Britain’s strained productivity. Bridging the skills gap is therefore required in order to equip engineers with the essential skills that will ultimately help businesses plan for a sustainable future, progression and survival.
Managers, take note.
Managerial skills are also a very important factor within the sector. Selecting and developing the correct people to run a business is crucial. Paired with practical knowledge, skills such as leading change, performance management and practical problem solving are very important.
With the skills shortage threatening the sustainability of businesses nationwide, it is paramount that businesses upskill their workforce in order to lead effectively. The overwhelming consensus among employers is that too many employees lack skills such as; critical thinking and problem solving, collaborative/teamwork, communication, adaptability/managing multiple priorities, planning/organisation.
It has been reported that Britain only produces around 25,000 engineering graduates per year, however Sir James Dyson has said that he would require 3000 if his company is able to expand further. A shortage of engineers and necessary skills can have a detrimental effect to economic sustainability of engineering employers, with many companies having reportedly said that the shortage could be “a threat to their business in the UK”.
Without transferring and developing knowledge, there is a risk that a huge amount of experience will be lost to the industry within the years to come. The importance of engineering is significant not only to the economy but also with regards to employment. Every new engineering role, creates an additional two jobs within the economy, therefore make it a priority to upskill.