SayOne Media, publisher of The Manufacturer, is delighted to announce that company founder and non-executive chairman Nick Hussey has been appointed to head up Manufacturing Insight (MI) – a new unit set up to attract young people to a career in manufacturing.
Manufacturing Insight is tasked with improving the perception young people have of Britain’s manufacturing industry. The initiative’s chief aim will be to persuade 11-14 year olds that a career in manufacturing can be exciting and rewarding, both financially and in terms of career satisfaction.
Hussey takes the reins on September 1.
“Modern manufacturing is completely different to the predominant view that many people still have,” says Hussey. “It is no longer about gruelling and repetitive 12-hour shifts manning a single process on a production line. It is now about crafting world-leading designs and groundbreaking technology.
“In my opinion there is no industry more creative or more important than manufacturing at the moment.
“Increasing our investment, talents and focus on manufacturing is vital because of the immense role it has to play in shaping our collective future. For example, we need to move to a low carbon economy — our engineers are creating ways of harnessing renewable energy and are dramatically reducing carbon emissions from cars, aircraft and industrial machinery. We need to tackle the issue of obesity — our food scientists are continually finding ways of reducing levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt with no detriment to taste.
“It is therefore essential for us to show the next generation of talent that manufacturing is one of the finest opportunities they have to make a difference.”
In terms of Britain’s economic prospects, a prominent view among leading industrialists is that for too long Whitehall has focused its efforts on the financial sector and service industries.
“For our country to flourish again on the other side of the downturn,” says Hussey, “we need a balanced economy, one in which manufacturing plays a leading role. If not just for our balance of trade but for our standing in a globalised world, and our ability to win groundbreaking contracts from global corporations which secures jobs, investment and our reputation as a world leader in engineering and technology.”
The skills gap is often cited as the biggest banana skin that the development of advanced manufacturing has to face. But the lack of skills is not itself the problem – indeed, the UK graduates many engineers and scientists, but relatively few have sought employment in industry. The gap is a by-product of a larger issue – apathy.
Hussey says: “That is why it is essential that we change the image of manufacturing and why I am delighted to be given this opportunity. We can only plug the skills gap if there is pool of talent that chooses this industry in which to learn further and contribute.”
Nick Hussey takes up his new post on September 1 and can be contacted on 07973 518127 or by email at [email protected].