South East Wales

Concern over shortfall of young people in manufacturing

Wales' manufacturing sector faces a potential shortfall of around 2,500 young people within the next three years, claims a skills organisation.

Manufacturers' organisation EEF called for apprenticeships that take young people through to degree level.

The body is hosting a skills summit at Cardiff's Swalec Stadium on Wednesday.

The Welsh Government said its apprenticeship scheme was helping employers develop their workforces to a higher standard.

EEF Wales director Paul Byard said it "certainly isn't all doom and gloom for manufacturing skills in Wales".

Mr Byard said his organisation saw an opportunity to close the skills gap in Wales.

"Global trends over the last two decades have created huge competitive pressures as well as opportunities for Welsh manufacturers," he said.

"Many businesses are responding by focusing on innovative new products and services - a trend that more than anything relies upon nurturing the talent of our people.

"However, we need both industry and government to form partnerships to fulfil our manufacturing potential in Wales."


Mr Byard added that in addition to apprenticeships to degree level, EEF wanted to see apprenticeships for all ages in Wales to "help unlock potential in every area of society".

A Welsh Government spokesperson said just under 2,000 'Pathway to Apprenticeships' places were delivered in 2010-11 and a similar number would be offered this academic year.

He said: "The apprenticeships scheme enables employers to develop their workforce to a higher nationally recognised standard in order to attract the very best candidates and help business to become more efficient and innovative.

"This is why we are focusing on ensuring more progression from apprenticeships into higher apprenticeship opportunities.

"Also, our young recruits programme helps employers to recruit and train additional young apprentices, 16 to 24-year-olds, which includes a £50 a week wage subsidy for employers."

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