6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Recruitment concern for Gloucestershire manufacturers

PUBLISHED: 11:39 26 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:57 20 February 2013

Recruitment concern for Gloucestershire manufacturers

Recruitment concern for Gloucestershire manufacturers

Gloucestershire Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Group asks where the next generation of engineers will come from

Recruitment concern for Gloucestershire manufacturers

Gloucestershire Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Group asks where the next generation of engineers will come from

The recruitment of skilled employees is the biggest single issue for many British manufacturers, and the decline in engineering apprenticeships during the 80s is now affecting Cotswolds companies ability to recruit locally, but Gloucestershires Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Group, is doing something about it.

During 2012 this group of representatives from key local manufacturers have been improving the situation locally, including commissioning a video for show in schools and colleges across the county.

Steve Hawkins is Site Director at Tewkesbury-based Moog, a worldwide designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision control components and systems. He also chairs the LEPs Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Group: We increased our workforce by about sixty people in the last eighteen months but struggle to find certain categories of employees. Recruiting machinists, mechatronics graduates, product engineers and methods engineers has been particularly difficult and time consuming.

At one time companies such as Dowty turned out over a hundred apprentices and graduates a year. These people, such as myself, are close to retiring age and the supply is just not there, he says. Finding skilled employees with the right attitude to work is our single biggest long term issue.

Why should a school leaver consider engineering? Well, they may not earn what some investment bankers have in the past, but they wont be a target for rotten eggs,they can put more back into society and have a more interesting career.

And for those hung up about money, some engineers do indeed earn a lot. The Board of one of Gloucestershires most successful manufacturing businesses, Renishaw, is made up of nearly all engineers, and the same goes for others across the Cotswolds.

But for them its not about money. Many engineers travel, learn new skills and discover exciting technologies - and working for a successful company in the Cotswolds offers a quality of life difficult to replicate anywhere else.

Ironically, increased tuition fees have meant students and parents thinking twice about whether a degree will really help the student get a job anyway. As a result, manufacturing companies have seen a dramatic change in the quality of students applying for apprenticeships this year.

According to Steve Hawkins: Moog normally gets a handful of applicants in response to an advert, this year the response was over sixty. The Government is doing a lot to promote apprenticeships and this needs to continue.

Many teachers have no idea about modern business, and Gloucestershires LEP is determined that its video will educate teachers as well as students about the manufacturing sector, promoting work experience and encouraging schools to attend open days.

Chris Pockett, Renishaws Head of Communications, said: We have to get people through our doors we can talk until were blue in the face about how manufacturing has changed, but theres no substitute for physically experiencing the modern engineering and manufacturing environment when we opened our Stonehouse machine shop in April the response was fantastic, especially from parents who are the single biggest influencer on a childs future career. Each year we also give up to 60 one-week work experience slots to 14-17 year olds, and this summer we gave placements to 65 university undergraduates.

Would-be engineers now dont have to have a degree or even A levels, but do need enthusiasm and commitment.

Costs of taking onan apprentice

Typical salary commitment taking on an apprentice for four years is around 47,000, the Government contributes 1,500 if the company is an SME. But part of the 47,000 is a 14% contribution to National Insurance which, the Gloucestershire LEP Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Group thinks, doesnt make sense.

One member of the Group said: Taxing apprenticeship salaries when the Government wants more apprenticeships is perverse logic. Companies that commit to develop young people through apprenticeships and other recognised training schemes should be given tax incentives.


0 comments

More from Cotswold Life

Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Yesterday, 15:12

Property prices across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have risen steadily over the last few years, reflecting the trend across the country. But which area has shown the most dramatic hike in prices recently, and how does your postcode and house type compare with others in the area? You may be surprised to see the results...

Read more
Yesterday, 15:11

From mini Norway spruces to luxury Nordman firs, here are eight of the best places to get a luscious, green tree in the Cotswolds this festive season

Read more
Yesterday, 15:10

The weekend is fast approaching and for those still deciding how to spend their Friday through to Sunday, we pick 5 of the best ways to spend your weekend in the Cotswolds

Read more
Yesterday, 15:10

Choral carol services and grand instrumental performances, with the backdrop of some of the Cotswolds most picturesque locations, are perfect ways to embrace the festivities. We pick some of the best carol services and concerts to enjoy in the region

Read more
Yesterday, 14:39

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

“‘Flexitarians’ can do one though, being alleged vegetarians who still can’t resist the sizzling siren song of the bacon sandwich when no-one is looking.” Editor Mike Lowe is attempting to seek reconciliation with those he has annoyed… well, sort of.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

“This letting to Oxford nanoSystems is a fantastic example of how we are able to provide first class facilities for growing technology companies at Abingdon Business Park.”

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

One of the UK’s leading training and education specialists has launched a skills hub in Nuneaton

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

“The logistics hub is another example of where we have worked in partnership to support skills needs in the area and link our student body with future job opportunities.”

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

“It was fantastic to see how this project is making a real difference to the lives of young people at risk of social exclusion.”

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

It has become the 90th store to accept the gift card in Cheltenham

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas Fayres and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in and around the Cotswolds this season

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search