Home Opinion We need to make a commitment to training for the future | Editor’s Viewpoint

We need to make a commitment to training for the future | Editor’s Viewpoint

Welcome to our June issue and congratulations to you all on making it through what feels like a very long winter. As I sit here writing this, the sun is shining and the world feels like a great place to be.

It certainly feels like we have seen the back of the dark and dreary days.

As we now head into summer it’s time to take advantage of the longer days and shorter nights but it’s also time to shed the cloak of doom and look ahead – and perhaps start a plan of action for changes which you want to make.

One of the interesting things I have noticed this month is all of the news we are hearing about apprenticeships. In April this year the Government announced that non-levy paying employers would no longer be limited to a maximum of ten apprenticeship starts which has allowed smaller organisations to increase their number of apprentices and effectively start to fill the skills gap and grow their business.

We often hear about the ‘skills gap’ in the electrical industry with many citing an ageing workforce and lack of new talent entering the industry as a problem. This isn’t unique to the electrical industry and is actually something which is widespread – particularly in the construction industry. But what are we doing about it?

The news for non-levy paying employers is very welcome and will be a huge turning point for those looking to recruit new Apprentices into their businesses. But if you turn to our news pages you will see the good news is more widespread.

Let’s start with the fact that entries are open for the ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award. What a great opportunity that is and what a great way to raise the profile of electrical apprenticeships which are helping to bridge that skills gap.

We then move on to the decision by the Department for Education to list apprenticeships on the UCAS portal. The news story features a worrying statistic that only 8% of pupils thought that an apprenticeship would lead to a good job despite the fact that the Higher Education Statistics Agency cite that 85% of apprentices versus 80% of university graduates had reached employment. This is certainly food for thought.

Apprenticeships have had a bad reputation with many people over the years and have often been seen as the poor relation to a university degree – that simply isn’t true and hopefully the news that they will now be listed on the UCAS portal will do a lot to change that.

We can however all do something in the longer term. The skills gap will not go away on its own and it is up to every single person working in the electrical industry to do their bit. It is clear that the apprenticeship route will be crucial in the longer term in bringing new blood into our industry – we just need to all get involved to make sure it happens….and that it is sustainable.

So while you’re enjoying the start of summer have a think about those things that you might like to change whether it’s a personal commitment or one for the business you are working in because industry training is the way forward so let’s embrace it.

See you next month,


Read more viewpoints here

Related Posts