A group of EEF members have come together to help us drive the manufacturing skills agenda in the north east.
Skills has been identified as one of the most critical business issues for UK manufacturers. Taking a lead in driving the skills agenda is a group of EEF member businesses in the North East. With EEF, they formed a regional skills group to understand the depth of the problem and to stimulate change.
Manufacturing is the only UK sector to achieve six consecutive quarters of growth, leading the continued economic recovery. But now there’s a major challenge which manufacturers are championing for change – skills fit for the future.
In May, the North East Skills Summit brought together our regional community of manufacturers, influencers, opinion formers and training providers to debate an avenue for improvement. EEF intends to replicate the skills group model locally and nationally to gather intelligence on the real skills needs of manufacturers and help shape skills provision and policy.
Skills Minister John Hayes - who will also be attending our Apprentices event in London - provided a video message to 180 delegates at the sell-out Summit.
“You can help to shape skills provisions and qualifications at national level by engaging in your sector skills councils and group training associations. And I’m sure EEF is championing the sector’s case at national level,” he said.
“You need to know the government will also play its part. That’s why in the Budget, we committed ourselves to delivering at least 250,000 more apprenticeships
over the next four years. I hope you come away from this conference with lots of new ideas and enthusiasm about how to get involved in building not just the skills base, but a foundation for growth and prosperity. A foundation that will help Britain recover and prosper.”
Terry Scuoler, EEF CEO said skills have been on the agenda for some time, but as we come out of recovery, we’re seeing a greater demand for creating new jobs and nurturing talent at all levels. “I am puzzled by something so relatively straightforward – that providing skills to a group of people who want them is not happening or does not appear to be working,” he said.
“The solution is very much in our hands, and we will keep talking to government to make sure it is moving in the right direction.”
Andrew Esson, Managing Director, ContiTech Beattie and member of EEF's North East Regional Council, said a survey of 150 manufacturers identified the need to make a difference to the level of training in support of economic prosperity.
“We need to champion the acquisition of workplace skills and professional development to help ensure companies have the right skills set and competencies to meet short, medium and long term business needs,” he said.
Andy Tüscher, EEF Regional Director for the North, said the Skills Summit highlighted key issues to government about the complexity of the funding regime, and how some training qualifications are out of date. “Hopefully it will make a real change to skills delivered within the region,” he said.
To become involved in the skills debate, or for information about our plans for more regional Skills Summits, contact:
Andy Tüscher, EEF Regional Director