BPF President, Mike Boswell, has stressed the need for improved careers advice with an industry emphasis in Britain's schools, in a bid to enlarge the pool of young talent prepared to seriously consider manufacturing as a career option.
Prompted by the Manufacturing Summit, organised by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which he and Philip Law, BPF's Director General Designate, attended in New Brighton on June 19th, Boswell said children need to be “guided towards industrial careers by informed advisors in schools.”
“It is very clear that the quantity and quality of careers advice available to schoolchildren today falls far short of the standards of twenty years ago,” said Boswell. “Vince Cable and Nick Clegg both acknowledged that provision has deteriorated.”
To help the situation, Boswell is urging companies in the plastics industry to develop closer relations with their local school to provide the missing information and to help nurture their future workforce.
“It is possible to forge these school links through a formal, government-backed framework, the STEM Ambassadors Programme, which was promoted at the Summit. It's all about encouraging children to take up and progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” he added.
Boswell said that industrial visitors to schools provide both role models and examples of how STEM subjects can be used to build a career.
”It's free and potentially very rewarding. I suggest that companies in the industry explore the possibilities themselves on www.stemnet.org.uk. The quickest way to make an impact which will help your company is to take the initiative yourself and offer a helping hand to local schools,” he concluded.