Next Gen Makers is set to launch a Best Practice web platform to help engineering and manufacturing firms become better at attracting and retaining engineering Apprentices.

The online platform will become a vehicle through which manufacturers can learn from other manufacturers and sector experts how to bridge their skills gaps and future proof their workforce.

Online resources including best practice guides, webinars, success story case studies and a directory of local Training Providers will enable manufacturers currently dissatisfied with their ability to attract or retain engineering apprentices, to understand what ‘great’ looks like and learn how to implement that for themselves.

“The reason we are launching our Best Practice web platform is because we can see there are problems with the status quo, many manufacturers don’t know where to go or what to do to find suitable engineering Apprentices and often if they do, they struggle to hold on to them.

“Meanwhile, workforces are ageing, the skills shortage is growing and ultimately UK manufacturing, particularly at SME level, is sleep walking into a big problem and an uncertain future. However, there are engineering firms out there that are successful in attracting and retaining young talent, and our intention is to create a platform to share best practice from those firms, with those that need it” comments Adam Tipper, Managing Director of Next Gen Makers.

The Next Gen Makers Best Practice web platform will enable manufacturers to firstly understand what ‘great’ looks like within the context of attracting and retaining apprentices, then learn how to implement that within their business.

Thought leadership will be shared from manufacturers large and small, as well as sector experts including Training Providers and Colleges.

Tipper continues: “There is more to engineering careers than JLR, JCB and Rolls Royce. Next Gen Makers has proved that by inspiring more young people to pursue a career in engineering, bringing manufacturing businesses and relevant students together, and raising awareness of the opportunities in the local area, we can place genuine engineering talent where it is needed the most.

“What we have found is that manufacturers that are great at attracting and retaining engineering apprentices understand that the buck stops with them. They don’t expect the government to do it for them, they know that they need to raise their own profile, attract young people and then invest in developing the skillsets of mentors with the ability to engage, develop and ultimately retain these individuals. This know how is the kind of thought leadership that our Best Practice web platform aims to share”.

Launching in March 2021 working with strategic partners MSC Industrial Supply Co. UK, the Next Gen Makers Best Practice web platform will initially focus on manufacturers in the West Midlands and through a ‘Know your Training Provider’ directory, will link engineering firms to those most suitable to deliver their apprenticeships.

Engineering employers can also advertise Apprenticeship vacancies on the Next Gen Makers Engineering Apprenticeship Finder jobs board, launching March 2021. Apprenticeship vacancies uploaded to the Apprenticeship Finder jobs board will be promoted via webinars to final year students within Next Gen Makers’ network of 35 High Schools/ Sixth Forms and 7 FE Colleges.