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Engineering recruitment expert Kris Feaviour who manages Cambridge based Barker Ross Technical which specialises in recruiting across engineering, manufacturing and scientific industries, points to engineering apprenticeships as being crucial to solving the UK’s engineering skills crisis: Supplying staff to some of world’s

leading product development companies, they are often called upon to find highly qualified engineers and scientists for research companies and have a healthy demand for engineers and technical experts to help keep production lines going in manufacturing companies, companies who rely on cost effective lean solutions to modern production issues. Feaviour says it is often easier to seek out PhD qualified R&D specialists than it is to find experienced manufacturing engineers to work on busy production lines. “Having been in engineering recruitment for some time I know that the shortage of practically orientated mechanical and electrical engineers is a problem across the

whole of the UK. According to the campaign to promote engineering in schools, Tomorrow’s Engineering, companies in the UK are projected to have 2.74 million job openings between 2010 and 2020, 1.86 million of which will need engineering skills. So there is no shortage of opportunity for people who want to take up engineering as a career. “Today what I’m experiencing is a

big skills shortage among engineers with three to five years industry experience,” continues Feaviour. “These are people educated to degree level or with relevant vocational qualifications, engineers who are used to working under pressure and coming up with innovative solutions to keep processes going or to design test and NPI processes which will enhance the productivity of a manufacturing line. “That is something you can’t learn

at University; it that has to be picked up on the job. As a recruitment company we can get round the shortage by scouring from the pool of well qualified non-EU candidates who approach us with companies

offering VISA support in order to attract the best talent but the UK needs to inspire more young people to see engineering as a career option. I’m a great supporter of the Tomorrow’s Engineers campaign led by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering UK. “Employers are crying out for

engineering graduates, particularly in growth areas such as environmental solutions, electro-mechanical integration, medical engineering, high performance automotive and green power. I firmly believe that a concentration on training more engineers via apprenticeships could produce more well-rounded performers as the academic route can encourage specialising in a particular discipline too early. “As apprentices are more often in

the workplace they will pick up more practical skills and be able to make a real difference to keeping production costs down and providing a long term solution to succession planning in key business areas.


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