EEF, is urging British manufacturers to take advantage of a £30m Government matched funding scheme to give employers the skills they need to realise their growth ambitions.
The scheme, the Employer Ownership Fund, gives employers 50% matched funding for training projects designed to address skills shortages affecting their business.
The first £20m of the fund is currently open for employers looking to develop projects aimed at improving engineering careers and increasing the number of women in the sector. The final £10 million, to develop engineering skills in smaller companies, will be made available soon.
However, companies are being told to act quickly – the deadline for applying for funds from the £20 million pot is 5th December and funds are being distributed on a first come first served basis.
And with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week putting a career in engineering in the spotlight, the concern is that some companies could miss out.
Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, said: “With the spotlight on careers in engineering, it is a good time to remind employers that this funding is available, but may not be for much longer.
“The important thing for companies is that this scheme is simple, easy to access and could fast-track growth plans. Over seven in ten manufacturers say they are going to increase investment in training and recruitment in the next two years.
“This funding could bring their plans forward, delivering productivity, growth and gainful employment at a much faster rate.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Engineering is central to supporting Britain’s economic growth and maintaining a competitive edge. To make sure this continues we must increase the supply of highly skilled and talented engineers.
“That’s why we’ve introduced the Employer Ownership Fund which, through match-funding, supports employers to deliver the skills and training they need for their workforce.
“I would encourage all employers in the engineering industry to consider the benefits the Employer Ownership Fund offers and take the chance to unlock the potential of current and future employees.”