21 May 2015
Manufacturing calls for powerful policies to boost UK growth
Advanced manufacturing and engineering is calling upon the Government to help create an 'industrial revolution' in schools and colleges, quality apprenticeships and industry-focused higher education, in a bid to avert a skills crisis.
The Skills Vision – handed to the new Business Secretary Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid – has been compiled by Semta, the not for profit organisation, which represents 138,000 companies in advanced manufacturing and engineering.
Ann Watson, CEO of Semta said: "When industry thrives – so does our nation.
"We consulted the sector and asked what it needed to get the job done at this crucial moment in our history.
"With the Government's laudable target of 3m new apprenticeships in the next Parliament – we would urge them to protect FE and Adult Learning funding for STEM courses – to help give the sector the skills that it craves.
"Skills Vision is a blueprint for change – to galvanize the Government – to do the right thing."
"Industry has spoken –its voice must be heard."
The 8,000 word document which was created after consultation with the sector, calls for policies to ensure:
- Stability – A long-term view on apprenticeships, skills and science funding
- Quality apprenticeships – We call on the new government to ensure that apprenticeships are of the right quality, with qualifications or certification included in all and employers in control of the funding for training and of standards
- Employer engagement in schools – The last five years have seen new initiatives like free schools, studio schools and UTCs launched, with employers encouraged to get involved. We want to see a continuation of that emphasis
- Preparing young people for work – School structures matter, but what happens within schools matters more. We need to do more to prepare young people for the world of work. Mandatory work experience should be reintroduced, employers should be encouraged to come into schools or to open their doors to talk to young people about their options, and vocational options should be offered to all young people who are not suited to or do not want to do academic qualifications
- Growing the sector – More women, more people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, more disabled people, a real social mix; this is how we can ensure the skills gap in advanced manufacturing and engineering AME and the wider STEM sector is closed in the medium term. Careers advice in schools which is fit for purpose, promotional campaigns targeted at young people and vocational qualifications offered to all; this is how we can close the skills gap and grow AME and wider STEM sector in the future