We must sex up engineering to survive, says company boss

By Matthew Bates 08/08 Updated: 09/08 10:36

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Buy photos » Ed Miliband meets with Pailton boss John Nollett and apprentices at the firm. 32.012.022.cov.nc3 www.buyphotos247.com

ENGINEERING needs to become a sexier career choice to attract younger people into the industry.

That is according to Pailton boss John Nollett, who welcomed Ed Miliband to his firm in a visit organised by non-executive director and Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson.

The Holbrooks firm has made efforts to take on young apprentices - something Mr Nollett described as 'exceptionally important' for the future of engineering.

"One of the things we've talked about is going into local schools and explaining to students what engineering and manufacturing is all about," he told us.

"We try and make it a little more sexy. If we do that we can get more people involved and talking to Ed he thought that was an important thing for manufacturers to do.

"There is a skills shortage without a shadow of a doubt.

"Both vocational and academic qualifications should be viewed equally.

"That will encourage younger people to take on vocational training because let's face it - if you don't enjoy exams then you don't excel at them.

"I wasn't very good at exams as a kid, I didn't enjoy them and wanted to be more hands on. If that's what people want then let them do that."

Mr Nollett added business was looking good despite July and August being a notoriously quiet period for the industry.

And he said Mr Miliband's positive comments about the company made him immensely proud.

"He's got into the heart of the company and spoken to a lot of people.

"He's really inspired because he can see the teamwork and not taken my word for it, he's gone to them and asked them what they're doing.

"In this area manufacturing used to be over 60 per cent of employment and it's now down to less than 11 per cent.

"He can see getting people back into work in that environment is important here because of the skills that are being utilised."

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