WES Ltd, the leading UK manufacturer of chemical dosing systems for a wide range of industrial process applications, is taking action to bridge the skills gap with the launch of the WES Academy.
The skills gap crisis is an ongoing concern for many manufacturing and engineering businesses in the UK, as fewer apprentices come into the sector and an ageing workforce leave. The gap has been particularly recognised in the Utilities sector, which has set up the Energy and Utilities Skills Partnership, with a core aim being to attract, train and enhance the utilirty sector skills base.
WES is addressing the situation by taking positive action with a series of proactive initiatives. These include working with Southampton Engineering Training Association (SETA), running a highly regarded apprenticeship scheme and, through its recently launched skills programme, to upskill its current workforce with the WES Academy training programme.
The Academy includes technical and commercial training documents, modules and seminars held at WES’ inhouse training facility. New starters can get to know the basics such as understanding the use of chemicals, through to more specific technical training that includes such topics such as ‘ test procedures for a dosing rig’ and ‘ correct procedures for emptying chemical bunds’. The Academy is designed to be a continuous learning program with increasing competency of individuals demostrated & monitored via the WES SharePoint intranet system.
The WES Academy is open to all employees and remote access allows offsite employees the option to log in to the training platform from their tablets.
Kevin Wheeler, Managing Director of WES Ltd, explains, “It’s vital that we upskill our entire workforce so that our skills pipeline can deliver our overriding long-term goals. WES Academy helps secure our business and the future of all our employees by addressing any competency gaps whilst helping to develop their career.”
He adds, “Taking on apprentices also enables us to give something back to the local community by providing employment and opportunity for young engineers. This approach and our Academy mean that we are striving for a solution to secure our continued growth and a prosperous future. It also reaffirms the WES brand value of: “Your chemical. Our know-how.”