With today’s school leavers and graduates heading into the workplace with less relevant skills than ever before, the UK’s skills gap is coming under increasing scrutiny.

A survey by PwC found that 58% of CEOs worldwide fear that the skills gap could hinder their company’s ability to grow in the future, and with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day from now until 2030, the UK is going to be losing more and more skilled workers by the day. It’s a real problem to traditional manufacturing businesses, especially as new generations of worker come through who are far more interested in a career which is tech based.

With such graduates taking vary different career paths to those of the generations before them, the skills which are being lost aren’t being replaced and are 3putting UK industry, specifically manufacturing and engineering, at risk.

Apparently, 73% of manufacturing firms have experienced difficulties in filling skilled vacancies, with 35% of vacancies being deemed ‘hard to fill’.

So, how best to address this skills gap? This infographic from White Cross Rubber Products has discussed some possible solutions.

For example, the Government is trying to encourage more young people to undertake apprenticeships by raising the minimum apprentice wage and offering a grant if certain criteria are met.

89% of executives believe that apprenticeships could be the way to go, and with three million more by 2020 being promised, hopefully, they can help give young people a more vocational, hands-on education.

Not only this, but a young apprentice may be able to teach a couple of your older employees a thing or two!

However, some of the responsibility lies with schools, colleges and universities themselves, who need to work with businesses ensure that they promote the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and show the kind of careers that they can lead to for young people.

Business can play their part in this by taking part in recruitment fairs at universities and sixth-forms.

Making sure to create an environment in which employee contributions are valued is also important.

And of course, to really attract skilled workers, there’s nothing like a competitive salary!

Although this is not possible, businesses may need to hire upon potential or promote from within, offering training as an incentive.

Broadly speaking, filling the skills gap isn’t rocket science, it’s simply identifying the skills which a business needs, and taking some sensible steps to find those employees, or create them from within (without hiring people left right and centre!).

Closing The Workforce Skills Gap – An infographic by the team at White Cross Rubber Products Ltd