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Lord Willis

“Governments have dedicated millions to creating vehicles for recruiting the skilled people industry needs, but no-one has really thought that retaining them is every bit as important. TRS came up with the solution. They have a platform that’s flexible and fast moving and can be adapted for the needs of different organisations. The beauty of the TRS model is that it’s led by employers and owned by them. There’s no bureaucracy getting in the way.

It was chairing the Science and Technology Select Committee that really sparked my interest in not only why the UK is so poor at getting young people to study STEM subjects, but why a significant number of those who begin a career in engineering or manufacturing don’t stay there. I also saw how, when companies go through restructuring and redundancies, there’s a real risk that highly skilled engineers disappear into other careers. We can’t allow that to happen. TRS is helping to balance redundancies in one area with recruitment in another.

A further big challenge for the UK is how we signpost people to world class re-training opportunities. When people are let go from one organisation, they may see exciting new opportunities in another but be missing 10 per cent of the skills they need. They want swift and easy access to bespoke training that will make them desirable elsewhere. That’s the next focus for the TRS platform.

A lot of organisations talk about corporate social responsibility, but for some it’s just a tick in a box. The organisations that support TRS are demonstrating real corporate social responsibility. They are looking beyond their own needs to what benefits the wider engineering and manufacturing landscape. They have a genuine commitment to building and maintaining the skills pipeline that is vital to the future of UK plc.”