Manufacturing is an important part of the North Devon economy and local businesses are struggling to recruit candidates for roles requiring higher level technical skills. National shortages in technical skills compound this problem for businesses in North Devon and Torridge, who see young talent leaving the region for Higher Education elsewhere, and not returning after graduation.
Seeing this talent drain, a group of diverse, world-class manufacturing companies within the North Devon Manufacturers Association, are offering sixth form and college students, studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) A-Levels, the opportunity to go to university and to return to North Devon as a graduate with a job. The sponsor company will contribute towards the university fees and, with a good degree, the graduate will be offered a role and a chance to start and grow their career.
Phil Scotcher, chairman of NDMA said: “We need to retain young talent within this area, focusing on specialist skills for the needs of our advanced technologies. We want to create opportunities for talented, driven individuals who want to go into higher education and study a STEM subject, though may not have the financial means to do so. These sponsorship places will enable us to grow the skills base that we need and provide job and career opportunities for those that want to take them. We are lucky enough to enjoy one of the most beautiful areas of the country, so why not ensure that we seek to create the best job and career opportunities here too.”
The companies involved in this initial programme include Aero Stanrew, Anglo Krempel, Beran Instruments, Eaton Aerospace, Helitune, Hobart Manufacturing UK, Parker Hannifin, Perrigo, SFL and TDK-Lambda.
For more information about sponsorships, visit ndma.org.uk or email Janet Phillips at .
North Devon Manufacturers Association
The North Devon Manufacturers Association (NDMA) has almost 60 members, including most of the large manufacturing companies in North Devon, along with a mixture of smaller businesses who either manufacture themselves, or who support local manufacturing activities in some way. The Association aims to promote and support best practice in the North Devon area, in terms of innovation, manufacturing excellence and skills. This is achieved through events throughout the year, including the Annual Awards, both for manufacturers, and for schools and colleges, to improve linkages between manufacturing companies and local schools in STEM subjects. In order to promote the types of careers opportunities available in manufacturing in North Devon, NDMA recently published a booklet sharing the experiences of a variety of North Devon employees. Copies are available through local schools and colleges, and on the NDMA web site.