29th March, 2019
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According to The Manufacturer’s 2019 Annual Manufacturing Report, 57 per cent of manufacturers feel that the current education system is a disaster for industry; it needs a total overhaul. In light of the skills shortage, now is an important time for change. Here Duncan Singer, account executive at technical PR agency Stone Junction, shares his thoughts on the engineering education system and what can be done.
The Manufacturer’s report shows that engineering education has diverged from what industry needs. The current fix that has been put forward for this situation is providing more apprenticeships and other vocational routes into engineering.
In the report, a business development manager from a metalworking company states, “the skills [apprentices] learn at college are not directly useful on our shop floor, so we have to effectively train them again to get the most from them.” This shows that apprentices do not provide a quick fix to the overall problem.
In contrast to the heavy commercial focus of an apprenticeship, university students commonly spend their time doing theoretical design modules and carrying out experiments in the laboratory — rather than on the factory floor.
The Annual Manufacturing Report found that 75 per cent of manufacturers agree that they have a responsibility to get involved in schools and training to shape the workforce of the future. It shows — a growing number of engineering businesses are offering education outreach programmes to help close the gap between education and industry. Outreach can involve working with local schools, colleges or university engineering departments, running a talk on what your business does, the opportunities you have and the career path it will lead to.
If you’re interested in an example, take a look at our education PR campaign with global engineering company Renishaw. The company runs an extensive education outreach programme to inspire young people to become engineers as well as recruiting apprentices and degree-level apprentices to provide its young employees with the skills they need for a successful career.
If you’re looking for a PR agency to help promote engineering as an exciting industry to young people, look no further. Call me on 01785 225416 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.