This week’s Virtual breakfast Morning from the Made in Group saw industry leaders gather to share their experiences regarding a variety of important industry topics, including a designated group which discussed “Apprenticeships Challenges & Successes”.
The discussion largely oriented around the importance of changing young people’s preconceived notions of the manufacturing industry, and brainstorming the key methods of doing this.
Changing the Narrative Around Manufacturing
As is widely-reported, there is a skills gap within the UK manufacturing and engineering industry, with attracting young people into this sector being a commonly shared problem. However, it is at least one which companies are united in trying to produce a solution to!
One solution discussed within the discussion was working with education providers and young people to put on sessions which shed light on the true nature of working life within UK manufacturing and engineering.
These events are said to prove effective in wiping away negative misconceptions of this industry through showcasing the top-class opportunities and equipment that apprentices would be working with on a daily basis.
Working with Parents and Guardians
Whilst it is imperative to work with young people themselves to educate them on what working life really is like within UK manufacturing, it is also important - although not often spoken about - to ensure that the parents and guardians are also well informed.
For the support system surrounding many young people, it is vital that they are aware about other routes for their children to go down following on from leaving school, besides just university.
Therefore, UK manufacturing needs to brainstorm ways in which it can engage with and educate parents to show them how much potential a career in this industry offers for the next generation of workers.
For example, many people are not aware that it is possible to get to degree level through an apprenticeship working with a company. And of course, a huge benefit of this is that it doesn’t bring with it any debt, and you are able to build up vocational skills whilst earning this degree.
Ultimately, a career in UK manufacturing through an apprenticeship isn’t necessarily the career path for everyone, but it at least should be a career path which everyone is well-informed about… And that is undoubtedly not true currently, so we as an industry need to be proactive in helping to change this.