Report Segment: Skills Gaps
SEMTA reports a range of skills gaps in East of England engineering and manufacturing companies. These can be split into technical and engineering skills, and generic skills.
On technical and engineering skills, 64% of companies in the East of England reported skills gaps in the following areas:
- Welding skills - metals sector.
- CNC machine operation and tool setting - mechanical equipment.
- Computer Aided Design (CAD) and general engineering skills – electrical equipment and electronics.
- Materials Requirement Planning (MRP11) - automotive sector.
- Materials Requirement Planning (MRP11), tool setting, mechanical engineering
On generic skills, SEMTA found staff lacked:
- Core personal skills;
- Management skills;
- ICT skills; and
- Marketing/selling skills.
Interestingly there is no mention here of business improvement techniques, one of the most successful NVQs to be developed for the sector in the last decade. This suggests that there is a more intricate relationship between what a company thinks it needs and what it could benefit from in terms of training programmes. Moreover, taking on board Bevis’ comments earlier, the question needs to be asked what is the nature of the benefit derived from training: is it essentially about “lean” production? Does it encourage genuine innovation as opposed to simply ‘process’ innovation? And thinking of the government agenda – to what extent does it raise the qualifications base of people in the workforce?