Comment: Engineering sector crying out for skilled workers
IT is perhaps somewhat ironic that at a time of soaring unemployment we have companies who are struggling to fill vacancies.
But that is exactly what has been happening in the engineering sector in Gloucestershire and elsewhere.
We have some world-beating companies in this county such as metrology experts Renishaw and aerospace giants GE Aviation. But just as they are fighting back against the double dip recession – often by finding new markets overseas – they are finding it difficult to recruit the engineers they need.
There are various reasons for this problem – a generation of skilled engineers are moving into retirement and the sector has not been attracting the young people who are needed to fill their shoes.
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Both GE Aviation and Renishaw have taken positive action by going into schools, colleges and universities to try to encourage more youngsters, especially young women, to become the engineers of the future.
But it needs action by the Government to ensure that engineering and technology are properly promoted, not least in schools where companies have long complained that students are not being prepared for the skills that British industry so desperately needs.