I read with concern the article ‘Manufacturing HR bosses slam skills agencies for failing to deliver the goods’ (Personnel Today, 21 July) and would like to take issue with the comments condemning skills agencies for failing to solve the manufacturing sector’s skills problems and criticising grant-funded skills programmes, such as apprenticeships.
One of my concerns was that fewer than 12 out of the 100 delegates had tried to engage with the skills agencies, and all of them had reported the liaison to be unsuccessful.
I would like to have the opportunity to explore with them what went wrong, and make recommendations to change it. I would also like to investigate why the other 88 had not looked at apprenticeships as a practical business solution to their recruitment and skills needs.
National broadcast campaigns to promote apprenticeships have resulted in a significant increase in demand from young people, but there has not been a corresponding response from employers. Employers are, therefore, losing out on this potential talent pool, where they can effectively ‘grow their own’, and this in itself will add to their future skills issues.
Rod Kenyon, Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, Centrica