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To achieve its wider ambitions for growth, the UK Metals Industry will need to attract some 2,300 graduates a year and 9,200 apprentices and technicians. It will also have to retain those it already has and retrain others to acquire the specific skills required for the future. This will be challenging given the image of the industry and the dearth of both vocational training and appropriate degree-level courses.

Proposed action one: Improve the supply of candidates

To overcome the lack of potential employees, the issue needs to be address at all levels of education. From the school curriculum to university levels, appropriate subjects need to be taught.

Propose action two: Focus on training opportunities

The industry needs to improve awareness of the training opportunities that are already available while providing guidance to ensure those that do exist are fit for purpose. Using schemes such as brokering initiatives that match potential candidates to vacancies will help achieve this.

Proposed action three: Fill the current gaps in provision

Deploy experienced employees as trainers to pass on their skills to the next generation of employees be that in schools, colleges or through other training providers.

To encourage skills development, commitments sought from policymakers may include:

  • Working with the Metals Industry to examine and address its skills needs and reduce any future mismatch.
  • Placing greater emphasis on practical subjects, ensuring core subjects are incorporated into the curriculum and offering industry-appropriate careers advice from degree choices to vocational training.
  • Helping companies fill current gaps by making it easier for employers to seek funding and accreditation for tailored in-house training.

To meet its recruitment needs, the industry is aiming for capacity to reach 50% of its needs by 2018 and 100% by 2025.


12/02/19 - New Team at UK Metals Council
Member of the UK Metals Council, UKMC, gathered in the Midlands for their regular meeting. The meeting welcomed Simon Juden, who is the new Strategic Director for the UKMC.


12/02/19 - Resource and Waste Strategy Response
The UK Metals Council (UKMC) welcomes the recent publication of the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy. The document focuses predominantly on the challenges of single-use plastics, the confusion over household recycling, issues with packaging, food waste and waste crime, and as such, has much to commend it.


18/12/18 - Materials Processing Institute CEO to become Chair of leading UK industry body
Chris McDonald, CEO of the Materials Processing Institute, has been elected to a significant position that will play a crucial role in the future of the UK’s metals sector.Mr McDonald has been named Chair of the UK Metals Council (UKMC). He will formally take over the position in March 2019, after being voted in as Chair at the latest UKMC Board Meeting, in November.