Innovative new training programme launched for potential engineers.
The Department of Economic Development has announced that applications are now open for a new and innovative two year full-time training programme aimed at developing and delivering a skilled workforce for the local manufacturing sector, which has an urgent and growing need for skilled staff.
The "Manufacturing Technician Skills" programme is the culmination of many months of close co-operation with the Department of Education and Children (DEC) and the local manufacturing sector. It will be run at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education.
Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK commented:
"The Department highlighted the launch of this initiative as a key priority in the Agenda for Change in Our Economy document which was launched earlier this year. This training programme is particularly important for our economy as it is good for local people seeking exciting new careers and good for the successful businesses in our manufacturing sector. Our manufacturers are involved in projects for well-known clients around the world. These include Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing and NASA, to name but a few.
This initiative has been designed in conjunction with the local manufacturing sector to help satisfy their ongoing skills requirements and will provide excellent job opportunities on completion of the programme. The demand for skilled workers in this important sector is increasing annually given the impressive growth in order books experienced by local firms and also to additionally offset the issues arising from an ageing workforce within the sector. I am delighted that our joint working is now coming to fruition and would like to thank both DEC and the local manufacturing sector for their valuable input.‟
The programme will start in September 2013 and will have an initial intake of 18. Plans are under development to increase this figure further in the future given the growing long term need for skilled staff.
The new programme replaces the current scheme and becomes the primary route for all trainees entering the sector. It will provide opportunities for employment in certain craft or operative roles as well as being the pathway to formal apprenticeship and technician training vacancies.
The Department‟s Group Manager for its Employment and Skills Division, Andy Stewart commented:
"We anticipate a great deal of demand for these courses, particularly as the Department and Chamber of Commerce have worked together to raise the awareness of employment opportunities in the local engineering sector over the past few years.„The new programme will be challenging and trainees will need good English and Maths skills in particular. Applications are welcomed from those young people who would like to engage in a vocational environment in this high-tech and expanding sector.
The potential financial rewards are very good, with average earnings in manufacturing higher than those in many other sectors. There will be no tuition fees payable by the student and paid work experience opportunities will be available to participants during the summer holidays.
As we have determined it is important to improve overall employability participants will also be taught certain key skills to improve their all-round skill sets and to help them become better employees.‟
Chris Allen, Vice Chair of the Manufacturing & Technical Industries Committee of the Chamber of Commerce commented:
"The Island has a strong Engineering sector and ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce is a critical factor in our continued success and future growth. We face the same challenge as the UK and indeed Europe in that these skills are in short supply and we are in direct competition with other jurisdictions for skilled people. We have worked with both DED and the Isle of Man College to bring forward a local solution, providing the skills and abilities identified by the local business sector as being essential. The sector businesses are delighted that Government has been able to respond to our needs and bring forward this innovative solution, increasing the numbers of young people entering the sector with the correct mind and skill sets.‟
Principal of Isle of Man College, Ronald Barr added:
"Isle of Man College is delighted to be delivering this important engineering training to a key Island industry. This is a great employment opportunity for Island residents and is a good example of how the College helps deliver the skills so essential for wealth generation. Students can expect to be well supported by College staff during their two year full-time programme of study and there will be opportunities to work in industry and progress on to higher College engineering awards.‟
Applications for this exciting new programme are now being accepted and application forms are available from the Isle of Man College website at http://www.iomcollege.ac.im/uploads/manufacturing-technician-application-form.pdf or by contacting them on 648200. Applications will close at 5pm on Friday 31st May.