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Talent Retention Solution cements relationship with UK Universities

Posted on Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:47
Talent Retention Solution cements relationship with UK Universities images

Talent Retention Solution cements relationship with UK Universities

On Thursday, 13 June, sponsoring companies and organisations of the Talent Retention Solution (TRS) will host a half-day event for 25 of the UK’s leading universities. The event is aimed at cementing the TRS’ relationship with universities and will focus on engaging the higher education community to be part of this highly innovative employer-led talent retention solution.

Industry sponsors of the TRS will provide a view of the strategic and operational significance of the scheme as a principal route to attract, retain, develop and grow the nationwide engineering skills base as a key plank of the UK’s industrial strategy. Universities have a key role to play in this and the event will focus on sponsors' vision for engagement and methods of delivery in the short -medium and long term.

The TRS was launched in 2011 by the UK Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable MP with the support of six leading engineering companies (Siemens, Shell, Rolls Royce, EADS/Airbus, EDF Energy, BAE Systems).  TRS is now wholly employer-led and provides a nationwide platform catering for people at all stages of their careers and walks of life; Experienced, Apprentices, Graduates, Postgraduates and Undergraduates. Supported also by a growing array of professional organization, the web-based TRS platform represents a highly practical response to meeting the UK’s future Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) skills needs. 

TRS sponsors all use the scheme to source their STEM Graduate, Apprenticeship and Experienced professional talent. Sponsors and other supporting organisations are keen to ensure that universities encourage students - Undergraduate Graduate and Post Graduate to register their details on TRS where they can apply for jobs, internships and placements from companies and organisations that are part of the scheme. TRS sponsors are also leading a referral scheme whereby candidates they cannot immediately recruit are encouraged to register their details on TRS. This way TRS can capture and retain candidates who have shown an interest in working in STEM industries so that they are visible to other employers on the system (many of them SMEs) who might also be looking to recruit.

Richard Smith, engagement director for TRS explains the rationale behind this:

“Through this approach we will progressively retain people in one place and the
capability of growing a dedicated UK wide skills base for STEM/Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. TRS sponsors are very keen, in addition to their individual relationship with universities, to build relationships with universities, their networks and communities attracting talent into TRS - with universities taking a leading role with their networks.“

Another key message that speakers at the event will convey is the importance of the TRS in helping to identify future skills requirements, which not only influence patterns of employment, but also the research and development focus of universities. The learnings from the TRS will thus help inform research agendas and lead to a better alignment of employees and employers needs.

As Smith comments:

“When we started this initiative with BIS and the six sponsoring companies, we knew that the initiative had a potential beyond just the value of matching supply and demand. It was clear that the scheme had the potential to shape industrial policy and also better alignment with the academic and vocational education systems, Today’s event, will hopefully be able to take this engagement to the next level.”

Speaker perspectives
Mike Jones, human resources director, Siemens Energy UK

“Siemens’ engagement with universities is a key element of our overall Talent Management strategy based around the attraction, development and retention of competencies aligned with our business needs  We regard our involvement with TRS and other sponsor companies as an important part of the delivery mechanism for our  business and people plans “.

Allan Cook, Chair of the Skills and Jobs Retention Group, which led the development of the TRS, and Chairman of Atkins, Selex ES and Finmeccanica UK, said:

“I am delighted with the service TRS is providing and how employers in our sector plan to expand it further. The involvement of our latest sponsors - ECITB and British Glass - is a further boost for TRS, given their tremendous reach with companies across a wide range of industries including nuclear, oil & gas, construction and glass manufacturing. This will enhance the scheme, adding to the companies that have supported TRS since its launch in 2011.Many more companies and individuals will benefit from the exceptional access to talent that TRS offers. SMEs, students, apprentices and experienced engineers can all register at no cost – it’s a simple and effective way to see the career opportunities available in our most important and exciting industry. This is a win-win situation for employers, potential employees and the whole industry.”

Jeremy Holmes – Chief Operating Officer Universities UK said:

“Whilst the number of engineering and technology enrolments at university has grown by 30% in the last ten years, it’s not keeping pace with demand in the engineering sectors. That’s partly because many engineering graduates enter other careers once they leave higher education. TRS is a great way for employers in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors to engage with these graduates, and for universities themselves to ensure they’re fully in touch with the major employers.“

If you are interested in attending similar events in the future, please contact Richard Smith, Engagement Director:



TRS is currently at various stages of working with over 40 universities; others are expected to participate and promote TRS throughout 2013.

TRS has a growing network of employers who will progressively be using TRS to advertise their graduate and internship vacancies to view and apply for.


TRS is a new industry approach to working with UK Further Education Colleges and employers to support and promote the recruitment and retention of skilled people into UK advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) jobs.
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