Survey finds engineering vacancies hard are to fill in manufacturing sector

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18th February 2016 16:14 - Engineering

According to a recent survey into the manufacturing sector, many companies are experiencing skills shortages, with the most common gap in the workforce skills being engineering.Survey finds engineering vacancies hard are to fill in manufacturing sector

Commissioned by the The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, the survey also highlighted the problems the manufacturing sector was facing, allowing the researchers to explore the skills gaps in the area’s advanced engineering and manufacturing sector.

In the Hereford, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin regions, manufacturing firms employ 37,600 people.

The survey revealed that large companies were more likely to cite engineering skills gaps, as opposed to smaller firms. However, 90 per cent of the companies, which employ between 59 and 99 people, said that they had experienced a skills gap.

2 in 3 (68 per cent) of the businesses said that the core level of education they needed from their employees was an apprenticeship.

Chairman of the Marches LEP Skills Board, Professor Ian Oakes, said of the market research findings:

“The sector’s employers have told us, both in meetings and through the survey, that they need support to help close skills gaps which exist in their sector.

“These companies are often major employers with substantial supply chains, and it is critically important for the vitality of the Marches economy that the manufacturing and engineering sector is able to thrive. Access to an appropriately skilled workforce is of particular importance to the sector’s sustainability and growth potential.

“The findings from this research will really help us shape our future commissioning of skills and training support in the Marches.

“We are working closely with the manufacturing and engineering sector to understand their requirements ahead of a project later this year that will be specifically aimed at closing the skills gap and working with providers and colleges to ensure the right training is available to employers.”

Of the businesses in the survey, 49 per cent said that they have experienced skills shortages in candidates with engineering skills. As well as this 62 per cent of the businesses said that they expected a change of some form in their skills requirement in the next five to 10 years.

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