The first event was held by The Times newspaper at their London offices and explored how engineering and manufacturing could contribute to an export-led economic recovery.
Group Managing Director Nigel Whitehead outlined the importance of a strong skills base for organisations to grow and export, “At the simplest level, my job abstracts to this: it is a skills enterprise, putting the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skills and at the right cost,” he said. Other participants at the discussion included Deidre Fox, Director of Strategic Business Development at Tata Steel and two representatives of SMEs - Tony Sartorius, Chairman of Alucast and Rowan Crozier, Chief Executive of Brandeur who agreed that stronger engineering SMEs were vital for increasing UK exports. To read the report following the event see here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/futureofengineering.
And at The Financial Times' 'Future of European Manufacturing' conference on Thursday 27 November, Dave Holmes, Director of Manufacturing, Investment and Infrastructure for Military Aircraft & Information, spoke on a panel entitled 'Talent and Skills in Manufacturing - Tackling Unemployment while Developing a Competitive Workforce'. Dave described how apprentices were a key component of developing a pipeline of talent for BAE Systems. He also talked about projects that the Company has worked on with the Prince's Trust including the Movement to Work programme which is resulting in young people who were previously unsure of their career direction being taken on as apprentices or offered roles within BAE Systems. The panel agreed that whilst the perception of engineers was changing, unfortunately it was not moving fast enough at the moment to meet the UK's future requirements for engineers - particularly in the supply chain.