How is the UK managing specialist skill demand?

With much uncertainty since the Brexit result, questions have surfaced about what effect it will have on the UK economy. One question in particular surrounds skill shortage and whether the demand for engineers will outweigh skill availability.

It’s estimated that 250,000 construction workers and 150,000 engineers will be needed over the next 4 years to meet industry demand. This forecast has led to the UK Government promising to invest £2.6 billion in apprenticeship training by 2020. The most recent being the Apprenticeship Levy which is due to launch next April.

Employers in any sector will have to pay the levy if they have a wage bill of £3m a year. Payments into the levy will start in the new tax year (April 6th 2017) and firms will be able to claim funding the following month. It’s said it will hold 15 funding bands for all apprenticeships and shall range from £1,500-£27,000 depending on the complexity of the programme.

Data taken from the Skills Funding Agency show promising figures of engineering apprenticeship enrolments, with more than 74,000 in 2014-15 which is a 14% increase from the previous year. This shows that the ‘earn and learn’ route is becoming more popular for young adults than higher education due to fluctuating rates of university costs. Further statistics support construction as one of the top five apprenticeships to be chosen.

361 Degrees applaud the Government’s efforts to kick start careers for so many young adults. We are involved in every stage of the mechanical services process, from consultation to design, installation and servicing, so we understand the importance of investing in our young engineers and ensuring they have the resources to reach their full potential. We hope to go a degree further not only for our customers but for our staff which is why we give them the opportunity to take part in our engineer spotlight each month.

Click here for our latest engineer spotlight article.

Source: Builder & Engineer magazine, issue 1947, page 22 ‘skilling the workforce’

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