This is our final blog in the introductory series on manufacturing in the UK. We have covered the successes from times gone by and the revolutions that are happening right now, but it is also important to look at how the industry can prepare for the future. If the resurgence of the industry is to continue it is imperative to inspire the next generation to launch careers in manufacturing.
This is a pertinent point since Britain’s business secretary, Vince Cable, has warned the markets that the country’s skills gap is “crippling” the UK manufacturing sector.
At a Department for Business Manufacturing summit in Merseyside Vince stated that “The problem which is growing, is the problem of skills – we just don’t have the right level of people at all stages [who have the abilities employers need]. We’ve got a gap already. We’ve got people approaching retirement who have got to be replaced, this is potentially a crippling handicap unless we get on top of it.”
The manufacturers’ organisation EEF found that almost four out of five UK firms are struggling to find appropriate staff because of the skills shortage. The industry body has called for a “renewed focus and prioritisation” of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
Magma Digital is proud to support Preston’s College, which was recently awarded £13 million in funding to progress its plans for a STEM centre, after receiving endorsement from the Lancashire Local Economic Partnership and BAE Systems. The picture included shows one of our Directors, Priscilla Coates, handing out an award to a promising student at the college recently.
The government recently launched the ‘Your Life’ campaign, which aims to shift the perceptions of careers in science and engineering within the minds of 14-16 year olds. Furthermore, the “See Inside Manufacturing” programme has enabled 6300 students to visit innovative facilities and gain an insight into what it is like to work in the modern-day manufacturing sector.
It is clear that this good work must continue for the industry to prosper, allowing Britain to rise from its ranking as the 7th best manufacturer in the world, to closer to the top!
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