SVQs bridge skills gap;FE Focus

5th February 1999 at 00:00
THERE ARE signs from the engineering industry that the training culture is taking hold in Scotland. Sixty-one per cent of employers report that workforce skills are increasing compared with 53 per cent in Britain as a whole.

In a survey by the Engineering and Marine Training Authority, the national training organisation, just under a third of Scottish employers reported a skills gap in their employees.

Lack of practical skills - the ability to carry out job-related tasks - was most commonly mentioned. Other skills in short supply were computer literacy, problem-solving, team working, craft and management skills and personal and communications skills.

But 90 per cent believed their workforce was up to speed in handling new technologies. Robotics had been more widely adopted north of the border than elsewhere.

Half of Scots employers had an apprentice or recognised trainee, compared with 41 per cent nationally. Day release was the most common way of delivering training to the young, with evening courses less popular than south of the border. The biggest obstacle to training was cost, including staff time, though again Scottish employers had fewer problems.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications are used by 35 per cent of employers compared with 27 per cent using National Vocational Qualifications (or SVQs) in Britain as a whole.

"The Labour Market Survey of the Engineering Industry 1998 - report for Scotland" is available, price pound;35, from EMTA, Vector House, 41 Clarendon Road, Watford WD1 1HS.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today