A new survey conducted to gather accurate data and assess the level of awareness and uptake of 18 key manufacturing support services provided by Government has revealed that just one third of respondents were aware of the schemes.
The work, carried out by GAMBICA, the trade association for instrumentation, control, automation and laboratory technology in the UK, and supported by IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), EEF (The Manufacturers’ Organisation), and IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) found that the most popular schemes, with 70% and 69% awareness respectively, were the Apprenticeship Service and the R&D Tax Credits. The schemes that manufacturers are least aware of are the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot and TRS (Talent Retention Solution).
In terms of take up, 28% of those surveyed were already using the Apprenticeship Service for their company. Interestingly, the scheme to which most companies were signed up was the R&D Tax Credits, with almost a third of respondents confirming that they are involved in the scheme.
Steve Brambley (pictured), deputy director of GAMBICA, said: “Our aim was to create a survey that would be simple enough to complete but gather good evidence of awareness levels. The results indicate a wide spread of awareness levels of the different schemes, suggesting the need for specific targeted communication actions. The really positive outcome of the survey is that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is keen to work with GAMBICA and the other survey stakeholders in order to raise awareness and promote these essential support schemes.”
A forum chaired by BIS will kick off in November to prioritise actions based on the results of the survey.
“GAMBICA and survey stakeholders like IET, EEF, IMechE and Intellect are invited to take part in the discussions,” added Brambley. “We are looking forward to putting our minds together and finding the best ways to communicate the benefits of different schemes to UK plc,” he said.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013