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To achieve its wider ambitions for growth, the UK Metals Industry will need to attract some 2,300 graduates a year and 9,200 apprentices and technicians. It will also have to retain those it already has and retrain others to acquire the specific skills required for the future. This will be challenging given the image of the industry and the dearth of both vocational training and appropriate degree-level courses.

Proposed action one: Improve the supply of candidates

To overcome the lack of potential employees, the issue needs to be address at all levels of education. From the school curriculum to university levels, appropriate subjects need to be taught.

Propose action two: Focus on training opportunities

The industry needs to improve awareness of the training opportunities that are already available while providing guidance to ensure those that do exist are fit for purpose. Using schemes such as brokering initiatives that match potential candidates to vacancies will help achieve this.

Proposed action three: Fill the current gaps in provision

Deploy experienced employees as trainers to pass on their skills to the next generation of employees be that in schools, colleges or through other training providers.

To encourage skills development, commitments sought from policymakers may include:

  • Working with the Metals Industry to examine and address its skills needs and reduce any future mismatch.
  • Placing greater emphasis on practical subjects, ensuring core subjects are incorporated into the curriculum and offering industry-appropriate careers advice from degree choices to vocational training.
  • Helping companies fill current gaps by making it easier for employers to seek funding and accreditation for tailored in-house training.

To meet its recruitment needs, the industry is aiming for capacity to reach 50% of its needs by 2018 and 100% by 2025.


23/04/18 - UK Metals Council meeting Wednesday 2nd May
The next UK Metals Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 at the new National Foundry Centre in Tipton. Please contact the Secretariat for more information - giles.willson@ukmetalscouncil.org


21/12/17 - UK Metals Council meeting
The next UK Metals Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 10 January 2018 at the National Metalforming Centre in West Bromwich. Please contact the Secretariat for more details


07/12/17 - Next UK Metals Council meeting

The next UK Metals Council meeting will take place on Monday 11th Dececember 2017. This is being kindly hosted by one of our Members UK Steel at their premises in London. For more information please contact the UK Metals Council Manager Giles Willson