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New Project To Combat Trade Sector Skills Shortage

Julia Forsman @ arockandasoftplace

A mentoring scheme has been launched to reduce the skills shortage in the trade sector by encouraging young people into metalworking.  

There is a nationwide skills shortage across the construction industry, with YMCA figures showing a cut to youth services funding by local authorities since 2010. This is making it difficult for employers in the trade sector to find workers with the necessary skills and experience to cope with rising demand.  

There are currently over 141,000 job vacancies across the trade sector, and it’s expected that a further 937,000 new workers will be needed to keep pace with the demand by 2032.  

Ore Projects are looking to combat this skills shortage by offering mentoring schemes that will give 16–25-year-olds the skills they need to get into the industry, with the help of the UK’s leading online metal supplier, metals4U, who have pledged their support for the project by offering the steel needed to run the workshops for free. 

The scheme was set up by Lauren Wilson and Daniela Rubino, who found it difficult to navigate a career doing what they love, inspiring their mission of creating better opportunities for others.  

Lauren Wilson, Co-Founder of Ore Projects, commented: 

“It’s important to provide time and space for young people to connect, grow and figure out what makes them happy. Student entries into Design and Technology at GCSE have halved over the last decade and schools are being forced to be more selective with their budget.  

We want to provide places where all creative students can pursue a career in metalworking and other trades, including females. There is a big lack of female workers within the industry, and this is a big factor in the current shortage of workers.”  

Lauren and Daniela are working on securing funding so they can offer places across the UK by subsidising travel and accommodation in addition to the workshop. The workshop, based in Hertfordshire, is part of Grandey’s Heritage Craft Centre, meaning their mentees also have access to a stone carver, stained glass conservator, ceramicist, and milliner.  

Lauren Willson, continued:  

“The mentees learn practical skills in the workshop, including how to weld, polish, and make a pencil tin using our press. We had an idea for the school groups to do a project that they could work on as a team, so we asked them to design a bench. This involved using a CAD, writing a cut list, and assembling furniture. metals4U have provided all the steel for these projects, which is incredible.”  

Paul McFadyen, Chairman at metals4U commented on the partnership: 

“We are excited to support Ore Projects and the work they’re doing to encourage young people into welding, casting and mould making. The skills shortage is making it difficult for employers to meet the rising demand, and we need more talented workers. This project provides young people with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to work in the metal industry. Providing this initiative with the materials they require demonstrates our commitment to supporting developing talent within the metalworking sector." 

Source : metals4U

Image : Julia Forsman @ arockandasoftplace 

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01 August 2023

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