November 2023 Update
Nov 30, 2023
The skills gap in the UK has been a widely debated issue for a while now, as it has been impacting businesses of all sizes throughout the country. However, for specialist trade industries like us, the declining numbers of skilled workers are particularly worrying.
The skills gap has led to a situation where employers in the industry are facing difficulties in finding qualified workers for open positions. This shortage of skilled workers can result in delays in project completion, reduced productivity, and increased labour costs.
We feel it is crucial to understand why this is happening so that we can address these issues and help turn it around for our industry’s future.
It’s suggested that the gap has arisen due to a combination of factors, including an aging workforce, a lack of interest in pursuing careers in the electrical trades, and an absence of training opportunities.
The UK job market has transformed, providing a greater variety of career options to young people than ever before. However, with increasing numbers of school leavers choosing to pursue sixth form and university, the number of apprentices opting for vocational training has decreased. This trend has affected the electrical industry and is a key reason why we are facing a shortage of skilled workers.
It is vital to recognise the value of vocational training, where the flow of apprentices is fundamental for cultivating the next generation of skilled tradespeople. If we ignore this, it will only lead to detrimental effects on the industry and more problems further down the line.
At Prowired, we take accountability as a contractor in the industry and understand that we and other contractors play an important part to keeping the industry moving forward. Offering apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs are essential for employers to help close the gap, whilst increasing investment in training and education programs is also crucial, as well as promoting electrical trades as a viable and rewarding career choice for young people.
It’s vital to remember to maintain and level up our existing workforce and make sure they are always up to date with the latest training and skill sets, we ensure our team is confident in completing all the work we carry out and finished to the highest possible standards.
As contractors, it is our responsibility to create a safe working environment and allow our engineers to continue developing their skills, which ultimately helps to ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for the future of the industry.
In the industry, we have noticed a concerted effort from contractors, manufacturers, and training academies to address the skills gap.
However, amidst the good, there are opportunists trying to cut corners and offer subpar training, promoting four-year apprenticeships in less than half the time. This type of dishonesty not only harms the young people who are looking for a genuine opportunity to learn a trade, but it also undermines the efforts of those who are committed to closing the skills gap and developing a highly skilled workforce for the future.
At Prowired, we have taken a proactive approach to address this issue by establishing the Prowired Academy, which aims to give back to our community, create opportunities within the local area, and provide honest and transparent training for young people to kickstart their careers within the electrical industry. With this, we aspire to raise the standards and revive the quality of skilled engineers for the future.
The skills gap is a complex issue that requires collaboration from educators, employers, and policymakers to address. It’s essential that we must all work together to bridge the gap and build a stronger, more skilled workforce for the future!