A new report claims to identify and capture good practice on the development of the future workforce and how centres of innovation in other countries successfully contribute.
The Manufacturing the Future Workforce report has found that truly successful innovation is dependent on the availability of the right skills needed for its full exploitation. It warns that, without change, the UK’s current approach to workforce development will fail to deliver the skilled workers UK firms need to succeed in challenging markets.
The report from Sharing in Growth partners The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and with TWI and support from the Gatsby Foundation, recommends a new approach involving better foresight and forecasting of future needs and making significant improvements to learning delivery.
The report says that the UK should learn from the successes and failures of other countries – there is still time to catch up with, and even overtake, competitors but only if all the different stakeholders in government, industry and academia work together with a lasting common purpose to ensure that the UK manufacturing workforce is equipped with the skills of tomorrow.
It makes five recommendations based on good practice identified around the world. They are that the UK should:
- Develop and pilot the application of skills foresight, bringing together groups of education and technology specialists
- Support the development of Higher Technical Qualifications and National Standards
- Develop modular training and resources to support future workforce skills development
- Promote ‘Learning Factories’ as an education model to enable industrial digitalisation.
- Improve recognition and funding of modular and lifelong learning