Skills

New Trailblazer Electronic Systems Apprenticeships Approved

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that the new degree apprenticeship standard submitted by ESCO. You can read the full story here

If you have an interest in supporting our work on apprenticeships or if you would like to be kept update on our progress, please contact us.

Attracting High Quality Talent to our Industry – UKESF Update

The enormous potential of our electronic systems industry is clear for all to see. But without a constant stream of skilled workers not only will it fail to reach this potential, but the industry’s current worth and workforce will be in serious jeopardy. You can read the full story here

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships present one such option for career and workforce development. There are a variety of entry and progression routes, for example: • Student Apprenticeships – at undergraduate level • NEW Higher Apprenticeships – at Foundation Degree and Degree level • Technician Apprenticeships – at levels 3 and 4 • Craft Apprenticeships – at levels 2 and 3 The UK Electronic Systems community need to explore this alternative source and route to talent in order to address the common criticism of poor practical skills.

Qualification Levels and Continuous Professional Development

Qualifications vary considerably across the spectrum of Electronic Systems enterprises. For most involved in research, development and IP creation, a degree is the entry-level requirement. The ‘education system’, however, does not produce job-ready engineers. Employers expect that graduates will need at least two years on-the-job and postgraduate training before they are fully productive, with ongoing training programmes for the rest of their professional lives to maintain that level of competence in the face of rapidly changing technology. “Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is not only a recognised part of the job, but also constitutes a significant part of the engineering education process. Its inclusion in our national strategies is vital, rather than optional.” Indro Mukerjee, FlexEnable.

Opportunity: The critical shortages can be addressed in-part by:

  • Re-training in selected disciplines through training courses delivered by the private sector.
  • Initiatives such as the Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme (ASAS), which provides modular training courses leading towards a formal Masters qualification.
  • The provision of appropriate Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Industrial Case Awards.
  • The provision of parallel industrial experience/vocational training for undergraduates interspersed into their course either in the long Easter and summer breaks or as a year of industrial experience immediately before their final year.
  • Encourage actions to support Continuous Professional Development (CPD), both in the provision of training courses and the training of individuals.

Summary of Key Skills Challenges

Industry, trade associations, sector skills councils, trade unions, government, academia and the education system must work together to:

  • Attract new talent of the right quality and quantity to the right disciplines.
  • Increase the rate of adoption and range of apprenticeships with an increased emphasis on undergraduate apprenticeships.
  • Increase industry participation in undergraduate support, placement and employment.
  • Secure sufficient postgraduate skills and suitable financial models.
  • Pay closer attention to the role of CPD in supporting engineering capability in the workplace.