The annual Engineering Skills Scoreboard survey by the Engineering Employers’ Federation and the Engineering and Marine Training Authority has revealed what appears to be a link between increased training investment and productivity growth.
Engineering firms accredited under the Investors in People standard, which promotes best practice in training and recruitment, increased productivity 35% last year. Companies not pursuing it saw productivity drop 13%.
The IIP standard was introduced in 1991, based on a study of common factors in people management and development practice in successful companies.
`I think it is important that the principles of Investors in People are incorporated into this industry,’ said Andrew Birnie, research and information manager at EMTA.
But he added that the strong pound had put a brake on training investment. The skills scoreboard found that firms in the sector spent an average of £700 per employee on off-the-job training last year. Staff spent 2.5 days on such courses, down from 2.9 days last year.
The electronics sector reported the biggest spend in courses outside the workplace. Engineers in the aerospace industry receive the most training days.
The Rolls-Royce product engineering and technology division came out top in terms of training spending. It invested £2,600 over the year for each of its 457 staff.
The number of firms participating in the study was three times as many as in the first survey last year. EMTA and the EEF said an international study will be conducted for the first time next year to allow UK manufacturers to compare their training with overseas firms.
Smaller manufacturers were found to spend much less on training than larger firms, the benchmarking study of over 500 employers in the sector found.
John Robinson writes for Personnel Today magazine