Industry insiders are appealing to schools and the government to promote the graces of manufacturing as an occupation to attempt to attract more young people into vocational training.
More and more youngsters are reportedly forsaking engineering courses in favour of more modern and fashionable careers. A skills-shortage across the country’s industry has long been feared as coming to fruition by the middle of next decade, with a lack of trained staff ready to replace a retiring workforce.
And firms are becoming increasingly frustrated that the problem is apparently image-based.
One bed manufacturer from Somerset told the BBC how on a recent school trip to his factory, the teacher concluded the tour by telling students: “If you don’t study hard, this is the sort of place you’ll end up.”
The CBI’s Sarah Morris said: “We’re calling on the government to invest a modest £120m in specific careers advice, to show young people exactly how promising a career in engineering can be. If we don’t do something, Britain will lose these jobs to foreign competitors.”