Manufacturing - A Case In Point
Despite the decline since the 1970s, when manufacturing contributed 25% of UK GDP, the UK is currently the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world.
Overall, the UK’s industrial sector has increased by 1.4% a year since 1948, according to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The level of real GDP in Quarter 4 2022 is now estimated to be 0.6% below where it was pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) in Quarter 4 2019.
Brexit and Covid-19, both of which have significantly damaged economic conditions including international trade have fuelled publicity of business displacement to within the EU.
However, reshoring is the re-appropriation of manufacturing by British businesses from abroad to the UK.
Over 40% of reshoring is returning from China, and almost 20% is returning from India- the two most attractive countries in offshore manufacturing placement by UK business
Training solutions to the manufacturing sector
However, there is one challenge manufacturers consistently come across: hiring and retaining the right talent.
Nurturing The Talent Bank
Recruiting, investing in and retaining a workforce with the required skillsets has long been difficult for manufacturing businesses in the UK.
However, more recently the challenge has been exacerbated by Brexit, the Covid pandemic, digitalisation, the circumstances of which have contributed to low unemployment and wage inflation.
Now, according to latest research, some 36% of vacancies in manufacturing are proving hard-to-fill and as applicants lack the appropriate skills, qualifications or experience. This compares to an average rate of 24% across all industries.
The problem cuts across almost the entire workforce: from leadership and management to production and fulfilling orders and continuing operations more generally.
An ageing workforce is part of the problem, with early retirement or reduced hours as they look forward to retirement.
The manufacturing sector suffers from an image problem too, viewed as poorly paid, with monotonous repetitive unskilled jobs using heavy machinery, with no opportunities for personal or professional development.