Supporting careers in advanced manufacturing, engineering and technology

A strong economy depends upon manufacturing, engineering and technology industries. These sectors are fundamental to the future of the UK, and their success relies on the skills and commitment of their people.

How do we attract the people we need in a competitive market? How do we develop their potential? And how do we retain their expertise during periods of economic change and uncertainty?

Balancing the supply and demand for people in manufacturing, engineering and technology has long been a challenge for the UK. Many are passionate about solving the skills gap equation and believe it has to be tackled collectively.

Employers, unions, universities, colleges, trade associations, professional bodies and the government all have a vital part to play. TRS, an independent not-for-profit organisation, is helping to facilitate that collaboration.

TRS is dedicated to supporting careers in manufacturing, engineering and technology. We help industries to attract new talent, individuals to develop their potential, and the UK to retain key skills. In short, we’re helping to build and maintain a national pool of industry skills to meet the needs of UK plc.

Giving employers easy access to skilled individuals

Our web platform provides employers with easy, direct access to candidates and is free to SMEs. Companies like Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, EDF Energy, Boeing and Leonardo use the TRS talent platform to promote vacancies and to access a pool of prospective employees. To ensure the UK retains valuable skills, the talent platform is helping to balance redundancies in one company with recruitment in another.

Connecting students to careers and opportunities

Building the pipeline of entry-level talent is of vital importance to the UK economy, and the earlier students engage with potential employers the more likely they are to find the right opportunities. TRS works with universities and colleges to improve the visibility of internships, placements and job vacancies. We can also route highly-rated and assessed candidates who just miss out on opportunities in one organisation through to other interested employers.

Working with unions to retain key skills

At times of economic change and business restructuring, the UK must retain valuable engineering and manufacturing expertise. Our collaboration with unions such as Unite and Prospect focuses on preserving and protecting key skills. When Rolls-Royce, for example, restructured its business following the government’s strategic defence review, TRS worked with Rolls-Royce and Unite to set up a redeployment platform which ensured there were no forced redundancies.

Supporting specialist groups to meet operational challenges

TRS brings together influential voices across the engineering, manufacturing and technology landscape in the interests of UK plc. We listen to the concerns of professional bodies and trade associations and work with them to develop and implement practical solutions to the operational challenges their members face.

“Governments have dedicated millions to creating vehicles for recruiting the skilled people industry needs, but no-one has really thought that retaining them is every bit as important. TRS came up with the solution. They have a platform that’s flexible and fast moving and can be adapted for the needs of different organisations. The beauty of the TRS model is that it’s led by employers and owned by them. There’s no bureaucracy getting in the way.

It was chairing the Science and Technology Select Committee that really sparked my interest in not only why the UK is so poor at getting young people to study STEM subjects, but why a significant number of those who begin a career in engineering or manufacturing don’t stay there. I also saw how, when companies go through restructuring and redundancies, there’s a real risk that highly skilled engineers disappear into other careers. We can’t allow that to happen. TRS is helping to balance redundancies in one area with recruitment in another.

A further big challenge for the UK is how we signpost people to world class re-training opportunities. When people are let go from one organisation, they may see exciting new opportunities in another but be missing 10 per cent of the skills they need. They want swift and easy access to bespoke training that will make them desirable elsewhere. That’s the next focus for the TRS platform.

A lot of organisations talk about corporate social responsibility but for some it’s just a tick in a box. The organisations that support TRS are demonstrating real corporate social responsibility. They are looking beyond their own needs to what benefits the wider engineering and manufacturing landscape. They have a genuine commitment to building and maintaining the skills pipeline that is vital to the future of UK plc.”

I Lord Willis, Chair, TRS Members Group

Origins of TRS

TRS has been set up by a group of senior industry leaders, the Skills and Jobs Retention Group, in response to a request made by Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS). Its purpose is to provide an industry led and sector focused programme through which to facilitate the deployment and retention of key AME skills across the UK. It is a significant resource for the AME supply chain, and supports large, medium and small company interests.

This new programme has been developed by the sector for the benefit of all sector companies and individuals wishing to work in AME and will help support growth by facilitating the retention of high value skills throughout the UK.

The Talent Retention Solution (TRS) puts skilled individuals looking for work and companies searching for new employees in direct contact with each other. The TRS is a UK wide scheme which aims to retain skills in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Sector, including Aerospace, Automotive, Civil Engineering, Defence, Energy, Marine, Manufacturing, Nuclear, Power Generation and Renewable industries. TRS uses a web-based programme called ‘CWeb’ which has been developed to actively support redeployment and recruitment across these sectors.

TRS is an industry led initiative. It provides specific, easy to use recruitment services to companies who have active vacancies or who are perhaps just wishing to keep an eye on the available talent by using the search and alert service. For individuals who are in the job market, either through redundancy or another route, the on-line CWeb system provides a user-friendly way of marketing themselves directly to prospective employers.

All sector companies are being encouraged to register with this new programme and it is particularly important for companies who are recruiting and individuals at risk of redundancy. Registration is easy and straightforward and provides access to the CWeb job matching system.