New report summarises the challenges faced by the chemical industry in developing a highly skilled technical workforce.
The chemical industry has ambitious goals, aiming to increase its contribution to the UK economy by 50% – to £300bn – by 2030, becoming the country’s leading manufacturing exporter.
These ambitious plans will only be realised if the industry can develop a workforce of sufficient size and technical competence, yet UK industry continues to report difficulties in recruitment of people with the appropriate technical skills. Industry is critically dependent on Further Education (FE) to deliver these skills for the future.
A joint seminar, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Salters’ Institute and Gatsby in March 2015, explored whether the FE teaching workforce has sufficient capacity to deliver the numbers of technicians that industry will require, and whether teachers have the up-to-date experience of industry that is required to prepare appropriately skilled, work-ready employees. The seminar brought together representatives from the FE and training sector, industry, professional bodies and other key stakeholder groups.
The report of the seminar, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, makes a number of recommendations to industry, to policymakers and to colleges, highlighting ways in which multiple communities can work together to deliver the technically skilled workforce essential to the success of the UK chemical industry.