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Ore Projects run by British design duo RubinoWilson joins forces with metals4U for free mentoring scheme to get more young people into metalworking

Aug 11, 2023

A leading British design duo based near Bishop’s Stortford have formed a business partnership to tackle an industry-wide skills shortage in the trade sector.

Artists and makers Daniela Rubino and Lauren Wilson - known as RubinoWilson - specialise in designer metal work and mould making at their workshop at Grandey's Place Heritage & Craft Centre in Green Tye.

They set up a free mentoring scheme called Ore Projects, funded by Arts Council England, aimed at giving 16- to 25-year-olds in East Herts and West Essex the chance to become the creatives of the future.

And they have now joined forces with metal suppliers metals4U to get more young people, in particular girls and women, into metalworking.

There is a nationwide skills shortage across the construction industry, with YMCA figures showing a cut to youth services funding by local authorities since 2010. This is making it difficult for employers in the trade sector to find workers with the necessary skills and experience to cope with rising demand.

There are currently over 141,000 job vacancies across the trade sector and it is expected that a further 937,000 new workers will be needed to keep pace with the demand by 2032.

“It’s important to provide time and space for young people to connect, grow and figure out what makes them happy,” said Wilson.

“Student entries into design and technology at GCSE have halved over the last decade and schools are being forced to be more selective with their budget.

“We want to provide places where all creative students can pursue a career in metalworking and other trades, including females. There is a big lack of female workers within the industry and this is a big factor in the current shortage of workers.”

The steel needed to run the Ore Projects workshops is being supplied by metals4U, whose chairman Paul McFadyen said: “We are excited to support Ore Projects and the work they’re doing to encourage young people into welding, casting and mould making.

The skills shortage is making it difficult for employers to meet the rising demand and we need more talented workers. This project provides young people with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to work in the metal industry.

“Providing this initiative with the materials they require demonstrates our commitment to supporting developing talent within the metalworking sector.”

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