Manufacturers flock to the House of Lords to press skills issue

Posted on 23 Jul 2012

Over 100 employers have gathered at the House of Lords today to promote investment in skills.

The Employer Ownership event organised by Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing, will hear from leading industrialists on how they are rising to the skills challenge facing the UK economy.

Employer Ownership is a government funded initiative that will support employers in England to design and deliver their own training solutions.

The Employer Ownership pilot offers all employers in England direct access to up to £250m of public investment over the next two years to design and deliver their own training solutions. The pilot is jointly overseen by UKCES, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.

Employers will be urged to take ownership of skills and work together to help drive an increase in the recruitment of apprentices and graduates as well as upskilling the current workforce.

Technical skills are scarce and are getting more difficult and expensive to hire as UK recruitment demand hits 82,000 over the next five years to cover the number of retirements and meet the anticipated economic growth.

Juergen Maier, a member of Semta’s board and managing director of Siemens UK Industry Sector, will address delegates about what is required to rebalance the UK economy. He will also reveal how the Siemens will create opportunities for firms within the supply chain.

Mr Maier said: “Currently we get approximately 14 applicants for every technical apprenticeship we advertise.  That could lure us into thinking there is no challenge, but we know the picture will dramatically change in five years time, so we, along with our supply chain, need to act now to avoid missing out on market opportunities.”

Representatives from Toyota Manufacturing UK, Jaguar Land Rover, MBDA, Tata Steel, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Airbus will all be in attendance.