Bridging the Gap
Finding the right people with the right skills is a conundrum that confronts manufacturing companies worldwide. While industry leaders and educationalists lobby Governments to act now to create new jobs and align training with employment needs, it is also up to us all to rethink the way we recruit and engage current workforces to grow talent from within.
For SME’s especially, recruitment for skilled positions can be a challenge, faced with competition from larger organisations for the best talent. In response, Kingsbury has enhanced its offering to talented young engineers with a sponsored degree programme, partnering with the Open University, in association with a number of different Universities.
The Partnership Programme provides a modular route, which allows students to continue to study while earning. This is achieved through a combination of online study and externally-assessed work-based projects, with additional face-to-face support provided by the associated University.
First launched in 2012, the programme has fulfilled all our expectations. Recruiting individuals who can demonstrate a capacity to learn a specific role or skill, and who are likely to fit within the company’s culture has enabled us to build effective service and support teams for clients with the confidence that we have ‘the best of the best’ and the satisfaction of knowing we are future-proofing our business.
Senior Applications Engineer Dan Castles, who joined Kingsbury having completed his initial apprenticeship and HND with an aerospace company, is enthusiastic about the Partnership Programme which saw him achieve a First-Class Degree within 2 years (well done Dan!).
Says Dan, “As someone who had always worked and studied, this approach was exactly right for me. My role means I often split my time between locations, so the flexibility offered by online studying was essential, while project-based assessments could be carried out alongside my work.”
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