Professor Tim Dafforn, Chair of the IET’s Innovation and Emerging Technology Panel, said: “The Government’s recognition for the need for more technical skills is important but must focus on the skills needs of the UK in the future. We can fill the gap in the short-term by retraining and reskilling those currently in work, and for the long-term in those who are soon to be in work. The strategy must commit to true lifelong learning, with new and exciting skills being developed, taught and implemented throughout the skills pipeline.
“The IET’s Skills for Net Zero and a Green Recovery survey revealed that 47% of engineering employers upskill or retrain existing employees, whereas 44% of employers said they would hire people who currently have skills that they need. Concerningly, only 32% said they would recruit apprentices or graduates and provide training in the relevant skills. This shows that there is requirement from Government to help employers provide modular technical qualifications to ensure there is a lifelong commitment to correct and proper training.
“In the same survey, 62% of employers have called for increased innovative thinking skills to deliver a sustainability strategy. With the Government’s net-zero target of 2050, it is right that employers can demand this from potential workers. Government must help academic and industry to create and deliver on skills that the future workforce will need, both technical and soft skills.
The IET’s skills report and its recommendations is available here: theiet.org/skills.