Politicians, apprentices, employers and key figures from the electrotechnical industry came together for the launch of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) at the House of Commons.
After opening speeches from Mark Tami MP, TESP Chair Diane Johnson and Unite Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail, Dr Ian Livsey chaired a lively discussion on industry skills issues.
Diane Johnson outlined TESP’s commitment to support employers to develop and drive the skills agenda, engage with Government to protect the industry’s gold standard approach to training and to ensure the industry has the means to attract and develop top talent at entry and higher levels.
Delegates agreed there was a need for better careers advice in schools and a funding system that supported employers and maintained the high quality apprenticeship standards in the electrotechnical industry. The main outcome was a recognition that the industry needed to collaborate to capitalise on future opportunities and identify and address any threats to its skills provision.
TESP is a newly formed not-for-profit skills partnership created by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Joint Industry Board (JIB), National Electrotechnical Training (NET), JTL, SummitSkills and Unite the Union to help shape and develop the skills agenda in the electrotechnical industry. It has been formed to act as the voice for employers and industry on skills issues, and will lead on the setting and accrediting of standards, political engagement work, and the promotion of careers in the industry.
Diane Johnson said: “The debate we had today generated the kind of atmosphere and consensus we want when it comes to discussing skills. We want to help employers develop this industry’s skills infrastructure by bringing a range of organisations and individuals together to find the best way of taking things forward and this launch was a fantastic starting point. The people who came to our launch clearly share our sentiments and we look forward to working with them in the future to help the electrotechnical industry evolve.”
Mark Tami MP said: This industry needs to encourage more young people into apprenticeships and we need to be more open about apprenticeships and the opportunities they offer. Organisations like TESP have a key part to play in making this happen, and supporting employers develop the kind of training climate they need to prosper. I’m delighted to be here today to support the launch.”
Gail Cartmail said: “Unite’s training priorities are to promote, develop and scale up good quality apprenticeships – apprenticeships that retain the ‘brand’ integrity and are a solid foundation on which specialism can be developed. To deliver these in the numbers we need we need more employer buy in. But we need to avoid alienating employers of all sizes and especially SMEs who are already doing a lot of the hard work, which means ensuring that change encourages rather than discourages employer engagement. TESP has a big part to play in achieving this. I am pleased to support it and as a representative of Unite I’m delighted we’re one of its founding partners.”