The latest Annual Manufacturing Report has revealed what those in industry believe would help contribute to making a career in manufacturing more attractive.
Although common perceptions of the manufacturing and engineering sector are changing, this is a slow process.
When manufacturers were asked what factors they think might speed up this progression, they replied that a priority should be fewer negative reports of the industry.
The image of manufacturing as being dirty and unhealthy is still pervasive. At one stage in time, manufacturing wasn’t a particularly clean, healthy or even safe environment to spend eight-plus hours a day in. However, this is a far cry from modern manufacturing – something which ever-more stringent environmental, health and safety laws guarantee.
They also felt that it was very important that young people were provided with more access ot the sector through closer ties between industry and the local community and schools.
Manufacturers felt that mentors should be readily available in schools to answer any questions on possible careers in industry.
More support from government and large businesses for apprenticeships, as well as increased numbers of local technical colleges was seen as vital in helping to raise the profile of careers in thhe sector.
Closely related to people’s belief that careers in industry are poorly paid, is the misconception that manufacturing offers low-skilled, stagnate positions for those who didn’t do particularly well in school.
Most companies, regardless of sectors, will have roles which demand varying degrees of skills, alongside entry-level or intern positions. Yet the idea that most manufacturing positions require long hours stood at a line performing simple, repetitive tasks is false, especially as automation is increasingly shouldering much of the manual assembly burden.
The reality is that today’s workers are highly-skilled, tech-savvy and innovative, often between roles within a single shift. The growing proliferation of automation means you’re now more likely to see a worker with a control unit in their hand, rather than a spanner.