The chief executive of a non-profit employer-led skills organisation has issued a call to do more to encourage children still in primary school to see what it’s like to be part of an engineering workplace – with employers taking more positive steps towards promoting the concept of modern engineering.
Ann Watson of Semta told the Daily Telegraph that children do come up with their own ideas of what makes a suitable career at a young age and companies are not reaching them early enough to encourage them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
In many cases, children in primary schools aren’t exposed to different kinds of opportunities and possibilities, and while some schools do offer work experience this isn’t always compulsory and engineering firms are often reluctant to take pupils on over health and safety concerns.
Ms Watson did add, however: “It’s not just about work placements. It’s even more important that at school they are not receiving negative messages about the sector.”
Back in April, Ms Watson also welcomed the news that skills gaps could be plugged in the engineering and manufacturing sectors by the new apprenticeship levy, which was rolled out on April 6th.
She observed that the funding – which sees employees aged 24 and over attracting 90 per cent funding for apprenticeship training – could help upskill the UK workforce and also be more competitive with Europe with regards to productivity.
Ms Watson went on to note that employers will no longer need to recruit new talent in order to bring in the skills they need, since these funded apprenticeships will mean that existing workers can be upskilled instead.
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