The world is rightly impressed when advances in engineering are made public. Partly because behind the final product are talented individuals who’ve spent years honing their skills to be able to create these wonders.
But engineering has a recognised skills gap, with staff shortages potentially putting future such innovations at risk. A number of studies have indicated that that these deficiencies will also harm businesses. One such review, published in May 2018, suggested that a skills shortage could cost science, technology, engineering and technology (STEM) businesses as much as £1.5 billion a year in costs relating to recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training costs.
One potential solution is more apprenticeships – a great opportunity for young people to start their journey in engineering. I remember a conversation with the then-boss of a vehicle manufacturer who began his working life with an apprenticeship at that company. He rose through the ranks – proving that apprenticeships really work – and was, understandably, very proud of his company’s apprentice programme.
The industry is aware that more work is needed, so at Advanced Engineering 2019, expect plenty of discussions about plugging the gap to ensure the creative lights within the UK keep shining bright.