Bridging the Skills Gap in Modern Manufacturing

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Could a skills matching service be part of the solution the engineering and manufacturing industries need to solve the skills gap challenge? 

This blog is by David Bond, Employability Manager for Birmingham City University's Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE).

Overcoming Recruitment Uncertainty

Hiring the right candidate can be a difficult process, especially within the manufacturing and engineering industries where talent is often hard to access – in fact, 60% of engineering leaders predict that attracting and retaining mission-critical engineering talent will remain a continually increasing challenge up until 2020. There are key reasons for this, such as an aging workforce within these sectors and a struggle to recruit young people into engineering and manufacturing roles. But despite this, there are things businesses of all sizes within these sectors can do to ensure they have the best possible chance of finding the talent their business needs to flourish.

From my experience, businesses within these areas are often more likely to recruit an employee with two or three jobs worth of experience behind them, with the thinking that this will reduce risk. This in itself can hinder business growth and innovation. Why? Employees coming from another fairly traditional business are far less likely to suggest and apply innovative practices than graduates, who are fresh out of university and have the latest practical and research-based experience.

As a University, we understand why graduate recruitment can be unnerving for SMEs, as many SME employers are often concerned about being unable to attract and retain talented graduates. However, SMEs are the lifeblood of both the UK and regional economies and from experience, graduates often bring with them new, innovative ideas that drive positive change within the business.

Our Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM) programme aims to make the talent securing process easier for SMEs. HLSM Account Managers work closely with their business clients to truly understand their business skills needs and manage the entire graduate recruitment process so they don't have to. If you’re apprehensive about taking the leap and making a permanent graduate hire, we can help you to test the water by finding you the best in emerging talent for internships and placements within your business. This will give you the opportunity to get to grips with how you can make the most of graduate talent to drive growth and innovation from within your business, without the commitment of a permanent contract.

Lack of Diversity

With only 9% of women making up the UK’s engineering and manufacturing workforce, increasing diversity is key to boosting productivity within the industry, and research suggests that diversity unlocks innovation within businesses and drives market growth.

Birmingham City University is a partner of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and is actively encouraging more women to join the engineering and manufacturing sectors at degree level. Currently, we have a placement student – Sophie Vernon working as a Continuous Improvement Engineer at Brandauer looking to improve efficiency within the organisation (pictured in the large feature image above).

By working with our HLSM team, not only can you access the best in emerging graduate talent but you can also feel confident that you are working in partnership with a team that is committed to helping to encourage diversity within engineering and manufacturing – no matter how long that takes.

Want to start bridging your own skills gap?

If you want to begin bridging your skills gap, Birmingham City University’s HLSM team is here to help. HLSM ensures easy access to the talent support and skills services on offer. You’ll be given your own personal account manager, saving you time, money and making it easy to tap into academic and student knowledge – all while taking the hassle and cost of the traditional recruitment process away.

Find out more about how your business could benefit from Higher Level Skills Match!

Discover how we can help you drive business growth.