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Manufacturing workers struggling to upskill

New research has revealed that manufacturing workers are missing out on crucial opportunities to upskill for the future - with one in three not learning any new skills over the last year.

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Half of workers surveyed expect their jobs to change significantly over the next five years.

The research, from skills body City & Guilds Group, also found that less than half (46 per cent) of workers get enough help and support to upskill from their employer.

This is despite the vast majority (80 per cent) believing it important to continuously update their workplace skills, regardless of age or the stage in their career.

Nearly half of those surveyed (48 per cent) expect the skills they need to do their jobs to change significantly over the next five years, and for good reason - the digitalisation of manufacturing towards robotics and other smart technologies mean workers are having to adapt to changing factory environments.

Martin Hottass, Group Director at City & Guilds Group, said:

“The manufacturing industry is critical for the UK’s growth and prosperity as we navigate the challenges and complexities of the fourth industrial revolution, and technological advances render skills obsolete quicker than ever before.

“Learning shouldn’t stop once an individual leaves school or college and enters the workforce. Ongoing training throughout the lifetime of a career is particularly important for an industry like manufacturing – which relies on its workers operating with the highest levels of technical skills. It is vital that businesses are offering opportunities for employees to continually learn, develop and upskill.”

According to the workers surveyed by City & Guilds Group, nearly half (49 per cent) said their biggest barrier to upskilling was being unable to take time away from their day jobs for training. A further 37 per cent cited a lack of investment in training and development by their employers, and 25 per cent said they did not get enough feedback from managers to help with progression.

We offer expert support to help manufacturers develop a ‘learning culture’ in their business. To enquire for manufacturing support, click here.

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