Skills shortage in sharp focus in Cornwall

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As the skills gap continues to widen across many industries in the region, The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) is taking action to support the development of a skilled workforce through its range of innovative apprenticeship programmes.

TCCG’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Event, held at Cornwall College Camborne, brought together dozens of engineering, construction and automotive businesses with potential trade apprentices looking to start their career journeys.

Those in attendance got the unique opportunity to network with some of the leading employers in the county including PALL, A&P, Pendennis, Imerys, Persimmons Homes, RG Kellow, Fugro, Serco, Engineered Arts, Biffa and Blue Flame, amongst others.

“Apprenticeships are part of a range of pathways we have in creating a pipeline of skilled workers,” said Steven Thompson, Director of Business Innovation and Partnerships for TCCG.

“For employers, apprenticeships provide a way to train and develop a skilled workforce that meets their specific needs,” Steven explained.

“At the same time, apprenticeships also offer a pathway for employees to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen field, without accruing any student debt. It’s a win-win solution.”

The event itself addressed an important issue currently facing many industry sectors. In the wake of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics have revealed a significant national shortage of skilled tradespeople. The UK’s construction industry is particularly affected by an ageing workforce, with fewer people entering the industry to replace retiring workers.

The Office for National Statistics has reported that more than one in three construction businesses have experienced a shortage of workers, with just over 36% of firms struggling to find staff. Additionally, a report from the Construction Skills Network (CSN) reveals that over a quarter of a million extra workers will be needed by 2026 to meet growing demands on the UK sector.

As the leading provider of apprenticeships in the South West, TCCG has close working relationships with employers to ensure the industry relevance of the training they provide.

Steven continued: “TCCG is proud to be a leader in promoting many pathways in tackling the skills gap, and we’re encouraging other businesses to consider implementing similar programmes as part of their workforce.

“By working together, we can build a stronger, more skilled workforce that is prepared to meet the challenges of the future.”

To find out about the wide range of apprenticeships available at The Cornwall College Group visit