CESA is being used as a trailblazer in a programme to encourage apprenticeship programmes among UK manufacturers.
The programme is being developed by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and CESA’s involvement will be a key part of a high profile launch with Skills Minister, Michael Hancock, during Apprenticeship Week next month.
The association is calling on its members, along with other companies and organisations in the catering equipment supply chain, to pledge to take on apprentices.
“We are in danger of having a critical skills shortage,” says Nick Oryino, chair of CESA. “The NAS is working with CEDA, CESA and the FCSI to tailor a selection of programmes for our industry. By making this pledge, companies can help release the funding that is required to set the programme in motion.”
The need to develop a skilled workforce to safeguard the future of the catering equipment industry was highlighted as a key issue at CESA’s annual conference last year and the organisation has been engaging with the National Apprenticeship Service in the months since.
“We are working with the NAS to investigate what Apprenticeship programmes are available to address skills shortages across all disciplines, including manufacturing, engineering, servicing, sales and marketing and general office administration,” added Oryino.
A survey of CEDA, CESA and FCSI members found that while around 30% of respondents already employ apprentices, more than 50% would be “willing to do so” and a further 33% would “consider” it.
CESA has also held discussions with SEMTA (Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) about developing apprentice schemes in the catering equipment industry.
Apprenticeship Week runs from March 11-15.