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Manufacturing vs The ‘Skill Gap’

Due to the pandemic, professional setbacks have rippled across all sectors; social conventions & workplace policies have drastically evolved out of necessity, though manufacturing, in particular, has been struggling well before the pandemic hit.

According to Aircraft Interiors International, an estimated 186,000 new engineers & manufacturers are needed every year until 2024, though there is a current an annual deficit of 20,000 graduates. 

Presently, the future of this sector remains uncertain as the skill gap continues to grow; although industry 4.0 brought a wave of cutting edge products, technology alone can’t sustain future growth. Overall, finding individuals with the right skill set to harness these new technologies is the problem.

Brexit negotiations & the recession were contributing factors for the decline, though one of its biggest issues (to this day) is its image problem. Suffering numerous misconceptions about work culture, financial incentives & career progression, manufacturing struggles to appeal to the younger more ambitious workforce.

Millennials & Gen-Z perceive that a pathway in this sector will lack creative stimulation & fewer opportunities. Although this is not the case, enticing the best & brightest will present difficulties when they believe achieving their professional goals to be impossible.

So the question is ‘How can we attract & retain new talents?‘. Although there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution, offering unique incentives & development opportunities to your employees (potential of otherwise) can make your business stand out, build long-term loyalty & minimise your staff turnover. Engage more with your workforce by getting them hyped about your company’s overall objectives & their contributions. Regardless of sector, purpose is a universal motivator that can drive professional growth for both your company & staff.

By exhibiting at expo events, many companies are able to market their business model to the younger generations & stamp out those misconceptions. Visitors are given more insight into the industry, while employers have a chance to attract new enthusiastic workers.

Currently facing the largest shortage of skilled workers in over 30 years, evolving with the times has become more important than ever. Back in 2018, an alarming 81% of UK manufacturers admitted how hard it was to fill vacancies with qualified workers. In a report released in 2019, David Fagan from the Engineering Employers Federation states:

“Currently 40% of manufacturers say 40% of their workforce is above the age of 50”

Another consideration is that older workers are retiring before newer workers enter the industry, meaning that the opportunity to impart years of industry knowledge is missed.

Something that may help bridge the generational divide would be to bring more of a spotlight on industry & technological innovations. Numerous reports have given us a breakdown of the demographic you need to target; now is the time to cater more material about what this industry can offer them.

Additionally, academia has a huge opportunity to ignite interest in manufacturing & engineering by introducing these subjects into the curriculum; this will give students the insight they need, while gradually modernising their perceptions of the sector.

If implemented, approaches like these will aid in gradually closing the skill gap for the years to come.

If you require support in sourcing a quality workforce, we are able to offer a range of flexible services & highly effective operating models to accommodate your business, this includes supplying temporary, contract & permanent staff.

Our Managed Services model operates as a true collaboration with the client, where cost reduction & operational efficiency are key priorities whilst ensuring a ‘First Class’ service is delivered on time, every time, providing a real return on investment in us as your recruitment partner.

Click here to contact our Group Sales Director, Ross Bagley.

Simona Johnson
Simona Johnson
10:35 16 Mar 21
I have a very good experience with Thomas Recruitment agency. I would like to thank Jacky for help. She found me a very... good job. Jacky is professional and always ready to cooperate. I highly recommend this agency and I appreciate everything they did for me. 😊👍read more
Paul Tomlin
Paul Tomlin
15:33 17 Feb 21
One of the best recruitment agencies I have had the pleasure to deal with, always keep you informed of current vacancies
Mark Williams
Mark Williams
12:53 17 Feb 21
I would like to say that Jackie and the staff at pontypridd are excellent have had problems and a number of health... issues since starting knight securities in wages have always been correct and I have been enjoying where I been working. unfortunately my health problems have made me unavailable for work and the staff at both knights and Thomas recruitment have been fantastic.Thank you more
John Hopkins
John Hopkins
10:57 17 Feb 21
I have worked for Thomas Recruitment for a while. They have consistently kept me in work and I have never had any cause... to complain. Friendly and more
12:31 15 Feb 21
I have had nothing but help from Jacky at Pontypridd branch very helpful and friendly
nigel ostler
nigel ostler
21:15 09 Feb 21
I have had a very positive experience overall with Thomas Recruitment. I am an experienced class 2 hgv driver and have... had plenty of work over the past 18 months through the agency. They pay ontime, keep you informed and are very willing to help with any issues that may occur. I can't comment on other industries they recruit for but its a big thumbs up for all at Thomas Driving from more
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