The boss of an engineering company in Peterborough has warned of an urgent need to encourage more young people to take up apprenticeships in the industry.
The alarm has been sounded by Ben Atkins, chairman of the Vogal Group, of Kingston Park, Fletton, who says schools, colleges and other engineering companies are not doing enough to tackle the problem.
He warns the lack of apprentices means there is a shortage of skilled staff now and this will lead to problems in the future as firms struggle to replace staff from the shopfloor to the boardroom as they retire.
He said: “There is an urgent need for new apprentices.
“Our own development is being restricted by the lack of skilled people available.
“We want to reliably provide our services to our customers and we can only be sure of doing that by using our own workforce.”
Vogal, which provides mechanical and electrical installations for various sectors from petrochemical, pharmaceuticals to food and drink, plans to take on 12 apprentices, which it will train at the Vogal Training Centre, in Ailsworth.
The centre has 70 trainees, of which 12 per cent are Vogal’s apprentices with the others sent by other companies.
The centre is helping set the training agenda nationally with a unique sponsorship with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board that could be rolled out across the country.
Mr Atkins said: “We need firms to take this issue seriously or they will find it difficult to recruit and survive.”
For apprenticeship details visit www.vogaltraining.com