Yet, many companies in the industry are still sending out distress calls and hoping for the best – instead of taking control and ensuring they have a pipeline of skilled apprentices.In the annual Institution of Engineering and Technology skills survey, it’s been revealed that employers feel the skill levels of recruits do not meet expectations – representing a perceived skills gap for the ninth year in succession. However, maybe business leaders just need to see beyond the CV. I believe firms should stop expecting young people to arrive “ready” to suit their individual business needs. Instead, they should be looking for potential greatness in candidates, which they can develop over time while teaching specific requirements as part of an apprenticeship. Why should firms bother? Well, by plugging these skill gaps in the engineering sector, companies have the potential to generate an extra £27bn per year – so in terms of business planning it’s in your best interests to invest in the vital skills needed to make the business go further. Likewise, the economic benefits of creating a more “highly skilled” workforce has the potential to reach £140bn by 2050. The UK government has recognised this and, as a result, has pledged £30m to not only develop engineering skills in smaller companies but to help encourage more women into engineering, since only 12.9 per cent of applicants to engineering degree courses in 2012/13 were female.
Read more from National Apprenticeship Week 2016:
- It’s not too late for small businesses to get involved with National Apprenticeship Week
- National Apprenticeship Week puts spotlight on role in securing Britain’s economic future
- Forget Hairstyle Appreciation Day, National Apprenticeship Week actually means something
If you’re interested in changing your recruitment approach, don’t miss these five recommendations for future-proofing apprenticeships in your business.Estelle Brachlianoff is the senior EVP at Veolia UK & Ireland, a provider of waste, water and energy management services Image: Shutterstock
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