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Could German education influences combat the UK’s engineering skills shortage?

13 March 2015

Sensors specialists Balluff Ltd has commended German Industry UK (GIUK) for its commitment to tackling the engineering skills shortage crisis in the UK.

GIUK, a support network for German organisations operating in the United Kingdom, recently hosted a panel discussion on the subject of skills training in the UK in conjunction with the German Embassy.

More than 70 delegates from the government, industry and media – including Mr Adrian Bailey MP, Chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Business and German Ambassador HE Dr Peter Ammon – attended to debate potential ways to improve skills training in the UK.

Delegates took the opportunity to discuss the benefits that the German Dual Vocational Training System – which combines hands-on learning with classroom learning to enhance young peoples’ career prospects – could bring to the UK.

Dr Bernd Atenstaedt, Chairman and Chief Executive of GIUK, said:  “We have been lobbying the UK and Welsh Skills Ministers for many years to introduce the Dual System into the UK, which would be welcomed by German business in this country and many British companies.

“Qualifications are of course very important but experience is very valuable and this system not only provides students with a degree but also with job experience and a deep knowledge of their trade.

“We’re thrilled that elements of the German system have now been adopted in the UK as the current UK Skills Minister, Mr Nick Boles MP, has recently acknowledged and we look forward to working with the Government to help further improve training systems.”

Leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens and automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen shared their success stories of combining elements of the Dual System with the British educational system in their recruitment and training of young people in the UK.

John Radford, Managing Director at German-founded Balluff Ltd and a board member of GI-UK, said: “There are some fantastic career opportunities in the engineering sector and undoubtedly revising educational practices will help this, so GI-UK’s lobbying is a huge benefit to the sector.

“We are also aware as an employer that we have a role to play in addressing this issue so we’re keen to adopt new processes and communicate with the engineers of the future.”

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