Bridging the Industrial Skills Gap with the Levy

Over 110,000 East Midlands people are employed within the Industrial and Manufacturing sector. 46% of these jobs are within levy organisations who all have access to staff training funded by their levy contributions.

So with such significant levy funding available, why is the skills gap within the Industrial and Manufacturing sector still the biggest barrier to business growth?

Our Industry Insider team has completed a deep dive into the sector in order to answer this question. From our established relationships with HL Plastics, Futaba, Guilford Europe and other leading employers, we are able to outline the top 3 issues the Industrial sector faces within it’s workforce and how best to overcome them.

  • PROBLEM: Skilled jobs are becoming more difficult to fill.

Many companies find it three times more difficult to manage skills shortage across digital talent, skilled production, legislation and operational managers.

These jobs are taking longer to fill, stretching out to months of time where a company is missing key workforce to deliver open orders, expand production, or respond to customer needs.

SOLUTION: Use high level qualifications as an additional recruitment benefit.

As a Levy paying organisation you can use your levy funds to offer Digital Marketing, Warehousing, HR and Management qualifications as part of the employment offer. This helps to attract high calibre candidates who are seeking opportunities which offer continuous professional development.

  • PROBLEM: The changing relationship between job shortages and the shifting skills needed in Manufacturing. 

Many studies reveal that most manufacturers believe that the number one cause cause of the skills shortage is “shifting skill set due to the introduction of new advanced technology and automation”.

Half of globes manufacturers have already adopted technologies such as robots, cobots, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). In the presence of increased human–machine teaming, the types of skills that employees need to possess are rapidly evolving, and it seems increasingly difficult for the workforce to keep pace without the right training.

SOLUTION: Use Apprenticeship Levy to expand soft skills in a digital workplace. 

Companies need workers that can demonstrate critical thinking skills as well as the digital skills necessary to work alongside automation. In manufacturing, this generally translates to solving problems in production, such as having the ability to identify quality failures with parts coming off an automated production line and, more importantly, to take actions that remediate the problem in real time. Using the Apprenticeship Levy to provide staff with skills in critical thinking, attention to detail, problem-solving, and people management can be simply done through Team Leader and Management qualifications.

  • PROBLEM: Retirement of baby boomers and negative perception of the Manufacturing sector from Millennials.

With 80% of baby boomers still in the labour market and this number expected to drop to 40% in 2022, there must be a significant focus on replenishment.  The problem facing the industry is that the incoming workforce doesn’t necessarily have an interest in manufacturing. Andy Bushmaker, a Human Resources Manager at KI Furniture “I think there’s an overall stigma about manufacturing in general. Manufacturing isn’t what it was 20 years ago, and there’s this idea that it’s a dirty and dark profession.”

That, and the scary expectation that robots will replace most manufacturing jobs, which is a big concern for parents advising their children about career opportunities.

SOLUTION: Provide levy funded Digital Marketing training to those tasked with attracting the next generation. 

What Millennials and their parents don’t understand is that the Sector as a whole needs more people who can manage robots as opposed to people who can do what robots do. With the right marketing techniques, you can quickly attract an economically savvy tech generation who otherwise would not have fallen within your traditional ‘reach’.

A Level 3 Digital Marketing qualification can be delivered to your existing HR team or you may consider investing in a small External Communications department. Either option can be fully funded using your apprenticeship levy funds and provide a fast and efficient solution to your recruitment problems.

Want to find out more?