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The Growing Skills Gap in UK Engineering: How Apprenticeships Can Help

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Engineering Managers, if your company is anything like most other businesses in the UK, you will be aware of the growing skills gap in the UK engineering and manufacturing industries. With an ever-increasing demand for qualified engineers, finding and hiring the right people for your team can be challenging. One way to address this could be to hire an apprentice. 

Apprenticeships are a proven way to help address the skills gap in any industry, including engineering. By providing on-the-job training and education, apprenticeships enable you to nurture new talent and build a pipeline of skilled workers for your business.

According to a survey undertaken in 2020, 96% of businesses that employed apprentices said that they saw it as "a good way to develop young talent". While 80% said it "improved sector image with young people".

Apprentices also come from all age groups, with 78% of businesses using apprenticeships were able to use them to upskill and empower their existing workers.

Here are some of the other key benefits of hiring apprentices in engineering:

  1. Access to a new pool of talent: Apprenticeships allow you to tap into a new pool of talented individuals who may not have previously considered a career in engineering. This includes people from diverse backgrounds and communities who may not have had the opportunity to pursue a traditional engineering degree.

  2. Cost-effective training solution: Hiring an apprentice can be a cost-effective solution for your business, as the government provides funding to support the training and education of apprentices. You also have the opportunity to shape your apprentices' education and training to meet your business's specific needs.

  3. Improved diversity and inclusiveness: Apprenticeships can help to increase diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace, as they provide opportunities for individuals from different backgrounds and communities to enter the engineering field. This can bring a fresh perspective to your business and help to drive innovation.

  4. Better retention and employee loyalty: Apprenticeships can lead to better retention and employee loyalty, as apprentices are invested in the success of the business from day one. They are also more likely to stay with the company after completing their apprenticeship, as they have built a strong foundation of knowledge and skills through their training.

Employers using the apprenticeship scheme have also reported that they have seen increased productivity and staff morale from staff members who have upskilled with apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a great way to address the growing skills gap in UK engineering. By providing on-the-job training and education, they can help to build a pipeline of skilled workers for your business and improve diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace and the wider industry. So if you are struggling to find the right talent for your team, consider hiring an apprentice – it could be the solution you are looking for.

If, like many other Hiring Managers across the UK, you find yourself struggling to lock down the candidates you need to fill your Engineering and Manufacturing roles and find yourself needing a candidate ready to hit the ground running, Employment Solutions can help. Get in touch today by calling 0161 839 5353 or filling in the form below.