Online tool measures CNC skills

The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing has developed a tool to identify the current competence levels of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machinists.

It said that the diagnostic quiz, which is in its final stages of development, would help bridge the manufacturing skills gap by establishing what development was needed amongst existing staff and supporting the recruitment of further CNC operators.

The online assessment was developed following a report earlier this year by Semta, the employer-led skills council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK, which claimed that 21 per cent of UK engineering establishments had skills gaps within their workforce. Technical skills, including CNC machine operators, were where businesses saw the most gaps, the report said.

Semta has now called for engineering businesses to take part in a pilot programme, testing the online quiz and providing feedback on how easy they find it to use and on the training recommendations they are implementing as a result.

"In listening to employer feedback, we realised that engineering companies are facing a real challenge in ensuring that CNC operators have the right skills," said Philip Whiteman, Semta’s chief executive.

"This tool will help employers work out if their employees lack the skills they need and to what extent, and, with the guidance of a Semta representative, put appropriate training in place to address it. The pilot programme will ensure that when we roll the tool out more widely, it is precisely in line with the needs of employers."

Further information: (Level 1 test) (Level 2 test)

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