The issue of the lack of skills within this industry is something that we are all aware of, but unfortunately it isn’t something which we are all prepared to do something about. But as we forge ahead into 2012 perhaps the tides are finally turning.

I say this because in the last few weeks I have received a lot of information relating to new training schemes and in-house recruitment and training programmes.

Facilities management provider EMCOR Group is a good example of this as they have just launched their graduate scheme which is designed to identify facilities managers of the future. In addition Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has recently launched a partnership to ensure the UK has the right skills to implement the Green Deal.

I think that we all have to applaud any company who takes it upon themselves to provide a training programme because with youth unemployment figures at an all-time high, it is up to all of us to take some responsibility for it.

As far as training is concerned it shouldn’t just be about sitting back and waiting to see what other people will do on your behalf. You might have the right skills in your workforce today but we all need to look ahead and ask ourselves what will happen when these people start to retire. The answer is simple – we will be left without the skills that we need and as a result the industry will suffer.

With all of the changes which are taking place we need to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills and the only way to achieve this is by providing training. Many companies don’t hesitate to invest in new product development or new machines for the factory, so why is there a reluctance to invest in the right people to do the job?

This is a question which we as an industry need to address – and quickly because we need to plan for the future and ensure that the younger generation have the right skills to take this industry forward.

See you next month


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