TRAINING facilities in the island’s engineering sector are to receive a major boost.
The number of apprentices to be trained at the Isle of Man College is set to treble to 36 from autumn 2013.
Department of Economic Development group manager for employment and skills Andy Stewart said: ‘Working with industry, we identified that there were significant opportunities for new engineers in the sector.
‘This is due to several factors but primarily the success of the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster, the strong order books in civil aviation and the demographic issue of an ageing workforce.
‘Analysis of the sector’s requirements indicated that an acute skills shortage would be likely by 2015, therefore a commencement date of autumn 2013 has been targeted.’
Department of Education and Children director of education Martin Barrow said the outcome would ‘support both education and the economy’.
He explained that a working group made up of officers from both departments alongside representatives from the engineering sector will look at the availability of training facilities for a minimum of 36 apprentices from September 2013.
The Chamber of Commerce has been involved with the discussions. Chief executive Mike Hennessy said: ‘This is a real example of public and private sector working together toward a successful strategic outcome.
‘There is still work to be done but we are all committed to this initiative which is all about long term, valuable jobs on the island.’
Engineering sector skills champion Adrian Harrison said there had been a rise in interest in the sector since the launch of the ACE (Awareness of Careers in Engineering) programme, the aim of which is to enable the industry to recruit people from the local community, both now and in the future.
This year there were 220 applicants for the 11 apprentice positions. Prior to ACE, which was launched in 2008, there were 20 applicants for 10 positions.
Mr Harrison said the apprenticeship scheme, like the ACE programme was ‘part of the collective strategy towards ensuring the sector has the means to sustain and grow through having access to people with the right skills and enthusiasm for careers in the sector’
He added: ‘There is plenty of work out there, we just need people to help secure that work on our island.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
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Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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