A recent report by the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) has found that 73% of UK manufacturers are struggling to recruit enough skilled workers.
The report found that 67% of manufacturing companies have complained of applicants lacking technical skills. 64% said there aren’t sufficient numbers of applicants, while 61% said potential employees lack relevant experience necessary for the industry.
The EEF report is backed up by figures from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), which found that the number of ‘hard-to-fill’ vacancies in the manufacturing sector had remained stubbornly high and largely unchanged at 35% since 2013.
However, the EEF have challenged the figures outlined by the government.
Tim Thomas of the EEF said, “Despite multiple warnings about the UK’s yawning skills gap, the dial hasn’t moved since 2012.
“The government must match the ambitions of industry and ensure that the education and training system delivers the skills that employers require. Policies must help, not hinder firms. They should provide support, rather than hitting employers with additional costs that could potentially hold them back.”
Despite this, 84% of UK manufacturing and engineering firms are fighting back by offering more competitive salaries and 50% are investing in training schemes. A further 79% have said that they plan to recruit trainee apprentices within the next year.
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