With the UK manufacturing sector reaching ‘crisis point’ amidst a chronic skills shortage, one bespoke engineering services company is joining its peers to actively promote careers in the sector, this National Manufacturing Day (September 28).
Envisage Group, a Midlands engineering firm, has partnered with the manufacturers’ organisation Make UK to give its local communities the chance to see first-hand the potential careers and jobs on offer in this exciting and diverse sector. The company will open its doors to residents across Coventry, welcoming all age groups, from younger students making subject choices to school leavers and more experienced workers looking at the possibilities of a career in manufacturing.
The move, part of wider National Manufacturing Day celebrations across the UK, comes at a time when WorldSkills UK says the sector is reaching ‘crisis point’ amidst one of the worst skills shortages in modern history. A report commissioned by the organisation in May 2023 revealed that despite a significant number of job openings labelled as ‘hard to fill’, only 49% of manufacturing employers collaborate with training providers to equip young individuals with industry-relevant skills. Additionally, 41% of manufacturers make no efforts to attract young talent to the sector, while 83% of young people encounter barriers to enter manufacturing, with 48% lacking information on how to do so, leading 60% to dismiss the idea of a manufacturing career. Attracting people from all backgrounds to the sector is critical if the country’s manufacturing sector is to continue to thrive on a global stage.
Nick Colledge, Managing Director, Envisage Technologies, commented: “National Manufacturing Day gives us a great opportunity to interact with students, teachers and careers advisors and invite them to visit our manufacturing facilities. We have our own recruitment arm of the business, so we have experienced first-hand some of the challenges the sector has when it comes to attracting and retaining good manufacturing talent. The industry needs skills across the board; from traditional manufacturing roles to HR, finance, IT, marketing and more, so we are hoping to speak to a diverse group of people on September 28.”
To make it easy to see what’s going on across the local area, Make UK has created a dedicated microsite www.nationalmanufacturingday.org where companies taking part will post what they produce and detail the events they are planning for National Manufacturing Day itself. Schools and local residents interested in seeing what is available in their area will be able to search the site using a simple postcode finder, to pinpoint those businesses closest to them and allow them to pick out something which they will find the most interesting.
Colledge continued: “Manufacturing covers a wide range of sectors including automotive and future mobility, aerospace, engineering, defence, and bespoke product development. So, there will definitely be something on the day to interest everyone. We will also demonstrate the value of a manufacturing apprenticeship as an alternative route after school or college as a way to ‘earn as you learn’ – taking a young person all the way to a University Degree for those who want to.”
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers organisation added: “This is a really exciting day where the whole manufacturing sector will come together to celebrate the amazing things that Britain designs and makes.
“Britain’s manufacturing companies are at the forefront of innovative engineering developments seen anywhere around the world. This is a sector with amazing opportunities, and we hope this second National Manufacturing Day will give people who have never had the chance to see inside their local businesses just what is going on and the opportunities available to them.”
To find out more www.nationalmanufacturingday.org