Apprentice Carl Patrick undertook the study to find ways in which the UK could replicate countries that demonstrate strong, long-term growth within manufacturing and engineering. Using financial support from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, an organisation that helps people travel overseas to find solutions to a range of challenges in the UK, Patrick was able to visit the manufacturing facilities of major international brands such as FANUC to find out why they were so successful in engaging future generations of engineers.

“We’ve relished the opportunity to demonstrate FANUC’s training and development capabilities – not just in the UK, but around the world too,” says Andrew Armstrong, sales and marketing manager at FANUC UK. “With the 2016 Hays Global Skills Index showing that Britain’s engineering skills shortage has been steadily growing for the past five years, it is my sincere hope that Carl’s research will be taken on by Government and used to build engagement with future generations of engineers. Only then can we make UK manufacturing a globally competitive industry once more.”

Carl Patrick, who works as a pre-sales engineer for Mills CNC Limited in Leamington Spa, says: “I decided to compile this report after seeing, first-hand, the diminishing skills and interest in trade industries. I’m also a STEM ambassador, so I often visit local schools and colleges to give talks on engineering. During this time, I’ve noticed three persistent challenges: a lack of funding, a lack of awareness and lingering misconceptions about careers in engineering.

“In spite of these problems, however, FANUC UK still gets around 30 applications for each apprenticeship a year. Visiting FANUC’s facilities in Coventry, Luxembourg, Michigan and Oshino-mura gave great insight into how they do it around the world. Using this information, I’ve now put together a set of recommendations and proposals, which I urge the UK government to consider as part of its ongoing campaign for 2018’s Year of Engineering.”

Patrick concludes: ‘’I would like to thank FANUC and the individuals who helped me conduct my training. It really was a privilege to be received openly throughout FANUC’s Global network and to be made so welcome while undertaking my training research.’’

Patrick’s report, ‘Changing perceptions towards engineering: ensuring our country’s manufacturing future’, is now available to view here: