According to the Birmingham Economic Review 2017, a shortage of skilled workers is one of the biggest barriers to the city’s economic growth. The report found that only 48.4% of the workforce are educated to NVQ3 level or above, compared to 56.9% nationally.
According to the findings, compiled by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI, the UK’s second city is also the youngest in Europe, with under-25s accounting for nearly 40 per cent of its population. And yet, a young population is only an asset if they are equipped with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed as they enter the local workforce.
In the wake of this report, Kings Norton-based engineering firm, adi Group, is urging businesses across the city to offer more placements to apprentices. CEO Alan Lusty comments:
“Birmingham is a vibrant, diverse city with heaps of potential thanks to its young workforce and growing outside investment. However, despite once being known as the City of a Thousand Trades, there is an ongoing shortage of skilled individuals across a number of industries.
“This is not just a local problem – many reports over the last few years have highlighted a nationwide skills gap – yet we can begin to solve it on a regional level. It is crucial for businesses, schools and local Government to work together to ensure young people have access to high quality training schemes from an early age. This will ensure they have a head start on a fulfilling career in their chosen industry.
“In September 2016, adi Group launched a pre-apprenticeship qualification for 14-16-year olds – the first of its kind in the country. One year on and currently teaching 24 pre-apprentices, both male and female, adi Group is unwavering in its goal to not only invest in the UK engineers of tomorrow but to also inspire other local businesses to adopt the model.
“Last year, adi Group also joined the 5% Club. Designed to encourage UK businesses to employ the equivalent of five per cent of their workforce through apprenticeships, the 5% Club is supported by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and is part of the government’s goal to create three million more apprenticeships by 2020.
“At adi, we recognise how crucial young, skilled apprentices are to securing a healthy economy and vibrant future for our country. More businesses need to follow our example by engaging with their local schools and encouraging young people to consider STEM roles as attractive potential career paths.”
For more information or to apply for an apprenticeship with adi, visit www.adiltd.co.uk/careers.
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