What can we do to reverse the existing image of manufacturing and drive more young people into the sector?

What can we do to reverse the existing image of manufacturing and drive more young people into the sector?

Although the UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world with an annual output of £183 billion (Source: Make UK), there’s still a massive shortage of younger people entering the industry, and the attraction of the sector remains low.

And so, what can we do to work together to reverse the existing image, and drive more youngsters into manufacturing?

Representatives from across the sector took part in a lively discussion on this topic at a recent Manufacturing Connections event.

Stephen Murphy, from DataLyzer International Inc., believes we need to make sure youngsters fully understand what the world of work involves.

He said: “We need to be able to practically show people just what the world of work is – what it is they’re actually going to be doing.”

Martin John, Management Trainer, criticised the lack of skills being taught in schools, saying: “A lot of skills are fundamentally lacking because they’re not taught in schools and colleges.
“If manufacturers can develop a pathway to show individuals that their skills are going to be developed over the course of their career, they’re going to be able to grow as people and grow their leadership skills then that’s a winning formula.”

Richard Brine, Managing Director at Elemy Ltd believes the answer comes in finding the right young talent and continuing to nurture it to help youngsters develop and grow.
He said: ““Find, tutor, inspire, nurture, attract, grow, retain, listen, convert. If you do a few of those, you’ll be doing OK.”

In conclusion, Andrew Visser, from The Better Process Company, said: “There’s an element that people view manufacturing as ‘dirty,’ don’t see that there’s a value or future in it, that it’s not considered ‘sexy.’ So, there’s an image problem and perhaps there’s a marketing solution we can use to change that.
At the end of the day, manufacturing nowadays isn’t always that ‘old school.’

“We encourage people to get into a job and choose a career path too quickly. That happens at the age of 14 in the UK when you choose your GCSEs and either go down a science, humanities, or arts route. That’s a big problem.”

“Perhaps something we can fix as an industry is to be more receptive to people who are switching careers or switching industries.”

Manufacturing Connections – launched by leading industry title Manufacturing Matters Magazine – gives representatives from across manufacturing a unique opportunity to come together to share knowledge, ideas and expertise with like-minded individuals.

All events are driven by topical conversations and ‘thought leadership.’ We have regular online events.
To attend and reserve a place, please email me – david@m3publishing.co.uk.