Companies throughout the UK that need skilful and experienced engineers to fill vital roles are finding that candidates of the required calibre are becoming increasingly difficult to find and employ. A new report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)has revealed that many bosses are finding it is incredibly tough to pinpoint professionals with the right abilities and credentials. Despite this, many admitted in the survey that they are doing nothing to tackle the problem head-on. Having questioned some 400 businesses, the IET found only 20 per cent have plans to retrain their staff. Retraining can be an effective way of giving employees the skills a company needs them to have, while it is also effective at enhancing their morale and persuading them to stay in the job for longer. Professor Andy Hopper, president of the IET, said the skills survey carried out by his organisation shows many of the nation's largest engineering employers are suffering at the hands of skills gaps and shortages, while an ageing workforce is another issue many have to overcome. The expert suggested this is likely to get worse in the future, as there is predicted to be a rise in the number of engineering jobs that must be filled in order to deliver the many infrastructure and energy projects on the horizon, which are often critical to the UK's development and success. Professor Hopper explained: "There are some very good examples of companies getting involved in local schools and working with colleges, but our report indicates a large minority of companies who do nothing. They know they will have difficulty recruiting the engineers they need but expect someone else will sort it out for them." It may also pay for employers to advertise and promote the engineering industry as one that young people should aspire to work in. This could persuade more people to sign up for courses that will give them the required skills and experience.
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