Fluid Friday - Skills Gap, Labour Shortage & Upskilling

Fluid Friday - March 8, 2024

Skills Gap, Labour Shortage & Upskilling

Author: Chris Butcher, BFPA, Managing Director

The skills gap isn't just a fluid power sector issue, it is impacting the whole manufacturing industry. All sectors are fishing in the same talent pool to secure new people into their business.

To help our members start the process of engaging with learning centres, the British Fluid Power Association has provided a significant amount of information to its membership advising them of local technical colleges, STEM Ambassadors and UTCs in their area.

Over the coming months we will be providing a resource pack to help our members engage with their local education centres. This will enable companies to introduce their business, the products they sell or manufacture, and how young people can have a role within the fluid power industry.

Fluid power is the hidden force in manufacturing, there are very few things in life that have not been manufactured, tested, packed, and shipped without hydraulics and pneumatics.

The manufacturing sector salary levels are increasing due to the skills and labour shortage, with annual salaries more than £35,000.

The BFPA are helping to facilitate the skills gap by partnering with its members through its Learning and Development Programme to offer a broad range of training, from online or face to face courses delivered at one of our BFPA approved training facilities, or at a client’s premises. Training is available throughout the UK and further afield.

During Apprentice Training week, it was great to so many BFPA members working with their local technical colleges or UTCs to create curiosity, offer opportunity and invest in the next generation of engineers, designers, marketers, IT experts, accounts, and business leaders of the future. Clearly “growing your own” is going strong in the fluid power sector.

There are many other support mechanisms that support businesses, Government funding for industry Bootcamps that focusing on intense block training, and the Apprentice Levy, this applies to companies that contribute through taxes & the SME’s that doesn’t. Government funding is available.

Partnering with Make UK, National Manufacturing Day (NMD) has been a huge success. This encourages companies to open its doors to local educational centres and showcase their products and services, to create that curiosity and ultimately offer opportunities to people wanting to join the world of manufacturing.

NMD will take place Thursday 26th September.

You can register at Get Involved | NMD 2023 (nationalmanufacturingday.org)

To help companies attract interested and talented people into the business, the BFPA is also partnering with The Careers Enterprise Company, www.careersandenterprise.co.uk they work with schools, colleges and employers to help every young person find their best next step, from guidance on apprenticeships through support grants to help the learning & development of your new team.

Filling the skills gap, labour shortage or upskilling a current workforce, assistance is out there, the BFPA is working with its members to help them tap into the talent pool with the philosophy of “grow your own”.

The BFPA will be exhibiting and play host to a series of engaging training sessions at the event, which are open to all attendees.

Register Now for FREE

Hosted Buyer Programme


CONNECT+ Live is a free of charge personalised matchmaking service that match qualified buyers with hand-picked solution providers. Where physical attendance is not possible a series of virtual buyer rooms are created to enable the most senior buyers the opportunity to connect. 

Contact us to find out more

Why join the Programme?

  • Saves time - our specialist team will do the hard work, taking your buying requirements and matching them with our exhibitors.
  • Pre-scheduled meetings - we understand how busy your schedule is, so we will ensure we fast-track and give you priority access to suppliers at a time that suits you.
  • Build relationships - make new invaluable contacts to benchmark and get invaluable insight.