Second best will not do; if the UK Electronic Systems industry is going to successfully compete globally, it can only do so through having a world-leading skills base. NMI’s role is to support the long-term health of the industry; we simply will not have an industry in the long-term without maintaining a flow of top-quality engineering talent.

Skills are the lifeblood of industry. Skills fuel productivity, efficiency, creativity, and the toolkit of innovation which help to make our organisations fit to compete.

We are well aware of the challenges for our members, such as :

• The availability of experienced engineers
• The quality of graduates
• Pressure from employment law & visa restrictions
• Pressure to continually improve efficiency and reduce costs

That’s why NMI is in the thick of the skills agenda and developing practical and pragmatic ways to influence the skills landscape.

Here are some of the highlights:

Trailblazer Graduate ApprenticeshipsApprentices-CTA

“Trailblazers” is the terminology used by Government to describe a new wave of apprenticeships that are aimed at:
1. Significantly simplifying the process
2. Taking funding from intermediary organisations and directing it to employers

Working with our partner organisations in ESCO, we have been lobbying government to include higher levels of educational attainment within the Trailblazer program. We were therefore delighted with announcements late in 2014 to include the potential to apply for an approved Trailblazer Apprenticeship at Level 6 (Graduate) and Level 7 (Masters).

We are delighted to report that the Level 6 Graduate Embedded Electronic System Design and Development Engineer has now been approved; we are now working with employers to develop detailed Assessment Plans and we invite you to participate in the process.

  • You can find this standard here

If you could use this route for the acquisition and development of new engineering talent then we want to hear from you now – please contact [email protected]

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation


Skills are the lifeblood of industry. Skills fuel productivity, efficiency, creativity, and the toolkit of innovation which help to make our organisations fit to compete..” Follow this link to find out more about UKESF.

By working with partners we were proud to announce the launch of the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) at the 2010 UKEA Skills Summit in London. UKESF has now been establish and readily accepts responsibilty for improving the quality and supply of employment ready graduates to industry.

UKESF is so much more than a scholarship programme (although this is a key component) – it boasts a full range of activity from schools all the way through to employment. A key feature of the programme is that it works with existing initiatives and key players; it is crucially accessible to the smallest employers as well as the large. In this way UKESF is designed to attract the most appropriate young talent and groom them for rewarding and fulfilling careers in the sector.

But don’t take our word for it, hear it from one of our scholars.

For Further Information

Stewart Edmondson, CEO UKESF

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07894899544


Employing International Talent
Our first priority is to focus on home-grown engineering talent but we believe our members in the UK feel the need to develop a balance of local provision with attracting the best people globally. More recently, visa restrictions have made it harder to recruit foreign nationals into the UK, many of whom could be educated here, but are often unable to find a work visa.

On behalf of NMI Members, Neil Dickins of IC Resources, provided input to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in 2013. The MAC maintain the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) of job in the UK and make recommendations to the Home Office for removals or additions to the list. If a job is on the SOL it makes the process of offering foreign nationals jobs in specific categories a much simpler process.

Current jobs on the SOL are:

You can find the 2013 MAC report here with NMI input from Chapter 6 on p128.

The current Shortage Occupation List can be found here.

Note that working closely with IC Resources, NMI has provided further input to the MAC 2015 Report and we eagerly await the publication of that and subsequent decision on recommendations from The Home Office – watch this space!


Salary & Employment Benchmarking
As part of our service to members, NMI produces industry specific reports comparing jobs, salaries and various employment factors across industry sub-sectors. These are often provided as a result of input from members and we invite you to contact us with your interest areas.

To sign-up to our skills newsletter please click here

To give input to NMI on any skills matter then please email [email protected]