Polymer Skills Shortage – Your Input is Invited

The Polymer Society
16 Jan 2013

There are mounting concerns that not enough young people are being trained to replace experienced employees as they retire.
Apprenticeship training brings many benefits, is heavily subsidised and is an increasingly recognised way of tackling skills shortages and supporting succession planning. 

Cogent is the UK's industry skills body for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymer businesses and their Technical Apprenticeship Service (TAS) is launching a new service to plastics and rubber companies, making apprenticeship recruitment a real possibility for companies on the geographical fringes of existing training provision.
The key ambition for TAS is to remove the barriers to apprenticeship recruitment. In the plastics and rubber industries Cogent research has shown the problem is likely to be a geographical barrier, with the few remaining training providers tending to be concentrated in key strategic areas of the country. For companies located outside of these areas it has often been a challenge to get the skills support they require.

Companies keen to engage in apprenticeships will now have access to a qualified and industry experienced Polymer Assessor from TAS via their local engineering college. This would allow apprentices to be trained and assessed on the shop-floor, without the need for lengthy travel to a training provider.TAS will now carry out on-site and in-house apprenticeship assessments for the Polymer Processing Operations framework at levels 2 and 3 and will mentor and coach apprentices in work placements and / or employment to ensure completion of the mandatory units.

The diagram gives the basis of the Apprenticeship Scheme in relation to other education routes with more information on the Apprenticeship Frameworks for the Polymer industry from Cogent.
Further information on NVQ and competence - based qualifications (QCF) which provide the recognition of competence, skills and knowledge for individuals working in the polymer and polymer composite sectors are typically available on the Edexcel website.

However your input is requested to advise the TAS’s Dan Freckingham as to what type of skills are required by you to support and develop your company.