Our 2015 Skills Manifesto, launched as part of National Apprenticeship Week, sets out our key ambitions to be achieved by 2020 that will lead to improvements in manufacturers’ ability to access skilled employees and meet the skills demands of the industry.
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The talent pipeline has been eroded
We believe that UK manufacturers are currently being hindered by decisions taken over past decades, which have eroded the pipeline of talent into the industry. Businesses can and will do more to support continuous improvements in the skills of the UK’s current and future workforce, but this will only bring real change if government investment and reforms both facilitate the work of employees and support them in achieving their aims.
Recommendations for the next government
With this in mind, our Skills Manifesto makes a number of recommendations for the next government, so that together we can achieve these ambitions. The report outlines five key ambitions that need to be achieved by 2020, in order to deliver improvements in manufacturers ability to access skilled employees and meet the skills demand of the industry.
1. For three-quarters of employment in the UK to be classified as medium or high skilled (as advocated in EEF's Manifesto: Priorities for Government)
2. To reduce the number of hard-to-fill-vacancies in manufacturing to 25%
3. To increase the number of UK engineering graduates by 25%
4. To increase the number of advanced and higher engineering and manufacturing apprenticeship achievements by 25%
5. For the proportion of maths and science teachers at school holding at least a post-A level qualification in their subject to increase to 90%
In order to achieve these, we believe the three areas that need to be prioritised are:
1. Sustained growth in the talent pipeline for manufacturing
2. Investment in the national skills infrastructure
3. Employers must play a greater role in driving forward the skills agenda
Focusing on employers in the manufacturing and engineering sectors
As identified, one of the key priorities must be for employers to play a greater role in driving forward the skills agenda. We believe there are several ways to achieve this:
New innovations in education that have a clear industry focus such as University Technical Colleges and the new National Colleges should be given time to become embedded in the system.
Employers must control the creation, maintenance and governance of apprenticeship standards, and this is best achieved through the continuation and roll-out of Trailblazers.
An existing portal such as UCAS or NAS should be expanded to include information for employers on the engagement with universities and recruitment of graduates.
Further work should be undertaken to explore how successful partnerships between universities and industry have been formed to determine how such models can be rolled out.
Find out more
To find out more, download the 2015 Skills Manifesto or contact EEF on 0808 168 5874 to talk to us about recruiting new apprenticeship talent for your business.