Join today

STC announces major skills initiative to aid UK industry and educators

Author: Silverstone Technology Cluster
Published On: 6 December 2023

‘Skills’ has been added as a fourth pillar of the Silverstone Technology Cluster after CEO Pim van Baarsen announced a new initiative by the network to get UK industry and educators working together to inspire young people about careers in engineering and manufacturing.

“As of today, STC also stands for Skills as well as Promotion, Support and Thought Leadership” said Pim as he addressed a 150-plus strong audience at the network’s Innovation & Growth Conference.

During his presentation (which members can watch on our website), Pim highlighted a worrying set of statistics that UK engineering and manufacturing is struggling to encourage and recruit enough people for the future.

The statistics, provided by the Institution of Engineering & Technology, revealed that in the UK:

  • 49% of engineering firms struggle to find the skills they need
  • The current engineering shortfall in the UK is 173,000 people
  • 18,000 more engineers retire each year than begin a career in the industry
  • Just 16.5% of engineers are women
  • 29% of the LGBTQ community would avoid engineering for fear of being discriminated against
  • Only 57% of engineering graduates go on to have a career in the industry
  • 5% of current engineers will have retired by 2026

“We’re also hearing that Year 8 (12-13 years old), most girls have already decided they aren’t interested in engineering,” Pim told the audience.

“I find these statistics alarming because to me these are not the figures of a thriving successful industry.

“So no matter how cool the stuff is you’re working on, no matter how full your orders books are, if we keep doing what we’ve always been doing then these numbers are only going to get worse and it’s not going to end well.”

He added: “We (the industry) can’t afford to turn people away. We have to do better.”

As a result, the STC has launched a new ‘Skills Workstream that will set out to:

  • Remove incorrect stereotypes from a young age
  • Promote/showcase how engineering can be an attractive career to young people of all ages
  • Encourage companies to create a supportive and welcoming environment
  • Enable more apprentice and project placements
  • Create further links between industry and education
  • Make it easier for students and new starters to settle

Pim explained that the workstream will help to achieve the above by:

  • Facilitating ‘pooled apprenticeships’
  • Creating an Educators and Industry Forum to ‘close the gaps’ and improve communication
  • Enabling communal training for companies to reduce costs and improve efficiency
  • Partnering with careers fairs
  • Having a dedicated events and content

Pim said: “We ask anybody who wants to get involved in or support the skills initiative with the Silverstone Technology Cluster to please contact us.”

He continued: “We want to bring educators and industry together for their mutual benefit – to aid recruitment and retention, plus upskilling, and making young people aware of the opportunities.

“We want to help the cluster companies find the people that they need to ensure there is a skills pipeline and so that we don’t see those depressing stats continue.

“We feel that if we all work together and collaborate then we can make a difference and the statistics shows we really should.”

By Carl McKellar

Categories
Aerospace/Aviation
Agriculture/Agritech
AI/ML
Automotive
Construction/Architecture
Creative and Media
Defence/Security
Design/Visualisation
E-Commerce
Education/Training
Energy/Cleantech
Engineering
Environment
Events/Hospitality
Finance/FinTech
Funding
Industrial
IT/Web Services
Legal/IP
Manufacturing
Marine
Marketing
Motorsport
Public Sector
Recruitment
Skills
Space
Support Services
Transport/Logistics
Uncategorised

More news from Silverstone Technology Cluster

Events/Hospitality
Skills
The Bucks Skills Show is back, and we’d love you to be involved!

Author: Silverstone Technology Cluster

Date: 6 February 2024

Buckinghamshire Business First are inviting your business to take the spotlight at the Bucks Skills Show next month. Aimed at young people aged 14-19, teachers, parent carers, and all adults looking for a career change, the 2024 Skills Show will be bigger and better than ever with 3,800 people booked to attend already – meaning … Continued
Read More
Manufacturing
Make UK National Manufacturing Day 2024 – Opening doors for future makers

Author: Silverstone Technology Cluster

Date: 30 January 2024

Following the overwhelming success of our two previous National Manufacturing Days in 2022 and 2023, on Thursday 26th September 2024, Manufacturers throughout the UK will once again be opening their doors. Every manufacturing company across the UK is invited to take part in this national day of celebration. The idea is simple – manufacturers just … Continued
Read More
Events/Hospitality
Manufacturing
Make UK National Manufacturing Conference – 27 February 2024

Author: Silverstone Technology Cluster

Date: 24 January 2024

Embark on an exciting journey with Make UK at the forefront of the National Manufacturing Conference on Tuesday 27 February 2024 at the QEII Centre London. Connect with industry leaders and fellow colleagues, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of innovation and collaboration. Challenge political decision-makers to create a business environment that helps manufacturers … Continued
Read More
123...6