Industry survey reveals the lack of engineering technicians in the land-based sector is a ticking time bomb

A severe lack of engineers today due to too few coming into the industry 10 years ago, not enough people promoting the industry at school level and too many companies not employing apprentices, are just some of the findings of a survey carried out by the Landbased Engineering Training and Education Committee LE-TEC, which comprises AEA (Agricultural Engineers Association), BAGMA (The British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association) and IAgrE (The Institution of Agricultural Engineers).

The survey, sent out to agricultural machinery dealers was designed to understand the challenges facing the land-based engineering industry such as, funding of technical education, apprenticeships, up-skilling the work force to meet the demands of modern business practices, attracting new recruits of the right calibre and raising the awareness of the industry and the career opportunities available.

“The survey has revealed very clear themes across the country, which will allow the committee to focus and prioritise appropriate action plans. The industry is starved of both fully and semi-skilled technicians either wanting to work on land-based equipment or having the relevant industry specific experience to support both todays’and tomorrow’s technologically advanced equipment,” said David Kirschner Land-based Technicians Training Accreditation Co-ordinator.

“There really is a challenge to lift the profile of landbased engineering in the eyes of many young people. We have to engage with young people, schools, colleges and those advising about careers. We must inspire people considering career options about what an exciting and rewarding career landbased engineering can be,” said Alastair Taylor, CEO of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers.

Roger Lane-Nott, CEO of AEA commented: “We need well trained technicians to deal with the ever increasingly technical complexities of machinery and farm equipment. We want to be in a position to attract the very best young people to our industry and have recently started designing a new website to help promote careers for those people with an interest in land-based engineering.”

“LETEC is working on a variety of initiatives to promote the fantastic opportunities that are available in this sector. We are in the process of organising a series of road shows and events to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to machinery dealers and young people thinking about a career in land-based engineering,” said Keith Christian, CEO of BAGMA.

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