Apprenticeships As A Tool For Unlocking Talent & Building Skills
Apprenticeships are the best tool for unlocking talent and building a skilled manufacturing workforce. There is a need to address the perception that apprenticeships are inferior to traditional academic routes. Many young people and their parents are unaware of the opportunities and benefits that apprenticeships offer in terms of career progression and earning potential.
In the wider Yorkshire and Humber region, Trent Refractories is a Scunthorpe-based manufacturer and supplier of bespoke refractory solutions, supplying the UK market as well as exporting to customers around the world. The company was founded in 1989 and has a strong British industrial heritage. Two generations on, the company is still owned and managed by the same family who have been joined over the years by a knowledgeable and experienced team.
Katy Moss is the company’s CEO and she is passionate about flying the flag for British manufacturing and she’s also a huge champion of developing new talent within the business. Katy says: “We must invest in our next generation to enable the skills of generations to be passed down, otherwise we risk losing strategically important manufacturing for our country. Some skills are so specialist and niche that hiring for those positions becomes increasingly more challenging and a ‘grow your own’ approach must be taken as an investment for the future.”
There are numerous opportunities for employers who are looking to the future, but that doesn’t exclusively mean young, male talent as was once the case. Upskilling and reskilling programmes don’t just have to be designed for a company’s existing workforce. Career changers and ‘mature’ workers are almost untapped sources of talent. New advances in robotics are set to support more physically disabled people into manufacturing roles. Striving for better gender balance is another massive opportunity, but this requires investment in proper facilities on sites that often never accommodated women. The manufacturers of Yorkshire undoubtedly have what it takes to overcome these challenges and ensure that apprenticeships continue to drive growth, innovation, and a skilled workforce in the manufacturing sector. To answer the age-old question: Are we there yet? No, we’re not, but we’re getting closer year on year.
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