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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.


04/12/18 - All change at the UK Metals Council.
Pam Murrell, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation and current Chair of the Metals Forum, presented Giles Willson with a case of wine in appreciation of his work running the UK Metals Council since its inception in 2015.


19/11/18 - First Foundry Apprentices start in the new National Foundry Training Centre
Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME) National President, Trevor Ayre FICME, was delighted to welcome the first group of Foundry apprentices to the new National Foundry Training Centre this week for their first full block of teaching.


13/11/18 - Future Proofing for Exporters: UK Metals Council meeting.
The UK Metals Council (UKMC) had a very successful meeting early in November, hosted by TWI at their premises in Cambridge, and representatives from 10 Trade Associations in UK metals sector attended.