Manufacturers in the UK are predicting a “fourth industrial revolution” within the next decade, but the UK’s skills base will be a brake on innovation.
According to a survey published by the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) just under six in 10 manufacturing businesses are worried that a lack of skills will hamper the industry in the next 10 years.
Nearly two-thirds anticipate an increase in demand for highly skilled workers and are calling on government to invest in medium and high-skilled qualifications at the school and higher education levels.
EEF is calling for changes to the schools system to achieve this goal. It wants 90% of secondary school teachers in maths and sciences to have at least a post-A level qualification in the subject they teach.
It is also calling for a 25% increase in the number of young people completing engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships, as well as the same increase in engineering students graduating from university.
Terry Scuoler, chief execuitve of EEF, said: “This is a blueprint for the future of manufacturing and for policies that will support the demand not just for more skilled workers, but for more workers with higher-level skills.
“The face of manufacturing is changing as a result of rapid advances in technology. This change is global and will see us face fiercer competition from other manufacturing and trading nations. In turn, it will place immense pressure on both the talent pipeline and the existing skills pool.
“It is vital that the government steps up to this challenge and works hand-in-hand with manufacturers to ensure that the UK is not left behind.”
A copy of EEF’s manifesto ‘Securing a manufacturing renaissance: priorities for government’, click the link below.More on this story