Following on from yesterday’s post about the great work being done by the Young Engineers Academy in Huddersfield, it got me to thinking that if a small outfit like this can help the youth, then surely the biggest companies in our industry could be doing more?

As far as I am aware, there aren’t that many dedicated youth projects run by the major companies in our industry. Yet I don’t understand why not. When you look at the work YEA do in getting young people trained and ready for the construction industry, they are providing quality staff who are more than likely going to do a great job for the company they end up working for. I think that if the systems companies and the major manufacturers were to run similar projects they could harvest some bright young stars for the future either for themselves or for the rest of the industry.

What YEA do is similar to an apprenticeship, but they don’t get Government funding like the current apprentice courses do at the moment. But from what I can see the major difference with YEA is that they train people to then go out into the construction industry, rather than keeping on the trained staff themselves. If manufacturers could get together and put their own self interests aside, they do have the man power, facilities, money and knowledge to be able to take on young people, like the YEA and provide courses and practical training to help channel youth into our industry.

There remains a cronic lack of youth in all facets of our sector. There needs to be a fresh injection of young people in the sales forces, surveying, installation, manufacture and so on. Right now the industry isn’t looking an attractive prospect for a career. However, if structured training programmes with guaranteed routes further into the industry could be created, with the promised of decent pay and long term prospects, then maybe we could attract a brand new generation ready to keep moving an already innovative industry forward.