Professional education stifled in smaller manufacturing companies -

Professional education stifled in smaller manufacturing companies

UK — Less than one in five of small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the UK have formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes and more than a third were unfamiliar with CPD, according to research from by the Engineering and Technology Board.

While the introduction of CPD in SMEs is limited by a lack of resources and understanding, over 44% did have a modern apprenticeship programme and almost half those surveyed ran NVQ programmes.

Professor Sa'ad Medhat, Director of Education at ETB, said, “SMEs are the true engines of growth in the UK and we must reverse this idea that CPD is something that bigger, better-resourced companies do. The pace of technological change in the manufacturing sector makes the lack of engagement in CPD even more acute. The productivity and profitability of SMEs, and of the economy as a whole, is dependent upon them boosting the skills of their workforce.”

The ETB's response to the Government's Skills Strategy stresses the need for the Government to do much more to address the specific needs of SMEs in the manufacturing sector and to provide a clear roadmap to flexible and accessible training. “Central to this must be better communication of the costs and benefits of online learning as part of any training,” said Medhat.

A copy of Skills for Manufacturing SMEs can be downloaded from the ETB web site.

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