Engineers and Government work together to bridge the skills gap
The UK’s engineering sector is today celebrating the significant progress that has been made in closing the UK’s engineering skills gap.
In 2013, a funding proposal developed by UK engineering firm Doosan Babcock resulted in the Government and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) committing a total of £5million to help upskill engineers and attract new talent.
This funding has fuelled essential training and innovative new projects. So far, over 225 current and aspiring engineers have directly benefited from the investment, learning vital skills that will help bolster the UK’s industrial economy in future.
Nearly 100 of the individuals who joined the Engineering Construction Welding programme were previously unemployed and can now look forward to a bright future in which their skills are in continual demand.
To mark the success to date, an event took place at Central Hall Westminster, featuring keynote speeches from Minister of Skills Nick Boles, Doosan Babcock Director Martyn Fletcher, and ECITB’s CEO David Edwards. Speeches were followed by a welding demonstration and a specially designed welding simulator for guests to try out.
Doosan Babcock’s involvement forms part of a wide range of initiatives being pioneered to close the skills gap and encourage more young people to consider careers in engineering. These include their UK-wide apprenticeship programme which has taken on 400 full time apprentices in the last five years.
Martyn Fletcher, Director of Doosan Babcock’s Asset Support Group and leader of the company’s apprenticeship programme, said: “As a country we are short of skills and as an industry we need to make sure we have access to as many skilled and talented people as we can to deliver growth across the sector. We expect big demand for skilled workers in our industry over the coming years which makes this investment essential if we are to provide the skills and expertise vital to supporting the development of the UK’s energy infrastructure.”
David Edwards, Chief Executive of ECITB, said: "This important welding skills project demonstrates what can be achieved through the collective approach to skills development. By working together we were able to leverage our joint expertise and resources to benefit of the whole engineering construction industry, as well as to the wider economy and society by creating new jobs and skills.”
Nick Boles, Minister of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said:“The investment we make in the skills of young people is central in securing the long-term economic plan – particularly in engineering and science.
“As we mark British Science Week, I am delighted to see at first hand an example of the quality of training and technical expertise available to apprentices. It is to the credit of Doosan Babcock, other like-minded employers and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board that such high quality training is available.”
Doosan’s strategy is based on the principle of “2G” - Growth of Business by Growth of People. 2G is a virtuous circle where people drive the business growth, which in turn provides our people the opportunity for advancement. Doosan believes that sustained success can only come through people.