Key individuals convene for second Industry Skills Forum
12 May 2016
Influential figures from industry, higher education, accreditation bodies and sector skills councils met yesterday for the second Industry Skills Forum, led by Develop Training Ltd.
In a day of focused discussion and debate, representatives from Siemens, tRIIO, Skanska, City & Guilds, Mentor Training, the University of Nottingham and Energy & Utility Skills joined Develop Training in exploring the interface between education and industry, and the roles played by awarding associations and industry bodies.
Larger number of those seeking engineering careers required
In addressing the skills gap, it was noted that 75% of engineering graduates leave the University of Nottingham for a vocational role in industry. The Forum concluded, however, that while this percentage is impressive and a reflection of the quality of the university’s education, the ongoing skills gap pointed to the need for much larger numbers of school leavers to seek careers in engineering in the UK. The Royal Academy of Engineering, for example, says that the number of engineering graduates and apprentices needs to more than double and the UK will need over one million new engineers by 2020.
All in attendance agreed that careers advice given at schools is in need of greater support to promote the idea of a career in engineering to young people. As a result, a plan of action was agreed to provide a united approach to schools in order to widen the understanding of employment and educational opportunities in engineering, industry and UK infrastructure companies.
Facilitating tangible change
“This is the second forum organised by Develop Training and demonstrates the power of bringing together disparate groups but who are all intimately involved in education and training”, said Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training Ltd, “Importantly, this isn’t just a talking-shop, but a facilitating platform for tangible change. We’ve seen this already in the numbers and varied groups attending and will see further progress when we take the forum out to schools. If any head teacher would like their school to benefit from this approach then I’d be delighted to hear from them.”
For more information about the Industry Skills Forum, watch our videos.