Skills East Sussex sector task groups

Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Task Group

The Engineering Task Group includes representatives from local employers. These include:

  • Akro Valve Ltd
  • Kurt J Lesker
  • Photek
  • General Dynamics
  • Brightwell Dispensers Ltd.

The task group includes representatives from education and training. These include:

  • East Sussex College Group (ESCG)
  • Culture Shift CIC
  • University of Brighton.

The role of chair is currently vacant. The group is looking for a new chair.

Task group recent activity

Task group members engaged on the following activities to improve awareness of engineering:

  • STEM Sussex applied to the Royal Academy of Engineers Ingenious Awards Programme on behalf of the Engineering Task Group. The proposal was to engage the public with engineers and engineering. It also provided engineers with the skills and opportunities to take part in public engagement.
  • Culture Shift  led a project called ‘Your Town’. The project was funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Fund. This allowed young people aged 11 to 18 in Hastings, Eastbourne and Newhaven to meet with engineers and find out more about what they do.
  • The group noted that it was good to see the recognition of need for higher technical skills programmes at levels 4, 5 and 6. 

Task group update Spring 2022

Engineering employers across East Sussex are keen to help raise the level of interest and awareness of engineering among young people and adults through the task group. For 2020 to 2021, the Task Group agreed that the following roles will take priority:

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Processing technician
  • Vehicle engineer.

This work is on-going and will include aspects of the roles that support a Net Zero future. 

Many businesses in the sector are still strong. Brexit has impacted the supply chain for vehicles and manufacturing. Covid has added to supply chain delays. 

Many car workshops stayed open during the pandemic, but new car registrations during 2020 were down by 29.4%. This represents £20.4 billion in lost sales.  Electric vehicles due to take over from combustion engines by 2030.

Under the National Skills Fund, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee will provide funding for all adults to undertake study to improve their skills and achieve a Level 3 qualification if they do not already have one. Manufacturing courses are currently focused on textile design and fashion rather than engineering manufacturing. 

Areas of success to 2021-22 are

  • Careers provision, helping young people get ready for work
  • Promotional events – STEAM fest
  • Awarded funding for a project to challenge gender stereotyping in engineering

Priorities for 2022-23 for the Task Group are

  • Increasing training opportunities at operative level for upskilling, career changers 
  • Acting as a platform for keynote speakers to address the employer network around AI (Artificial Intelligence), Net Zero and Automation
  • Increasing the recruitment of Higher Education graduates into the sector locally

Engineering Task Group meetings

Please find below the minutes of the latest task group meetings.

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