Although the UK manufacturing sector performed well in 2017 and even posted its strongest annual export growth since 2008 last year, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t face challenges moving forward.
In the East Midlands, businesses operating in the manufacturing and engineering sectors are preparing to come together for a large regional conference to discuss how to ensure the success of the industry in a post-Brexit UK.
The East Midlands Business Link noted that firms in the region are concerned about a lack of access to a skilled labour force, especially if immigration rules for EU citizens change once the UK exits the EU.
This may encourage some in manufacturing engineering roles to consider upskilling, such as by undertaking an instrumentation and control course.
According to the East Midlands Chamber’s Q4 quarterly economic survey in 2017, 63 per cent of the firms surveyed had tried to recruit in the last three months, but 58 per cent of them reported difficulties with finding suitable staff.
This was especially the case with skilled manual/technical roles, as well as professional/managerial roles, the news provider revealed.
The aim of the conference is to give firms in the region the opportunity to come together to talk about the issues they’re facing, as well as to see what they can do collectively to improve the situation.
Ian Bates, sector forums manager at the Chamber, said that the manufacturing and engineering sector faces “significant challenges”.
These range from “advancements in technology to simply being able to recruit the right people for the jobs”. He added: “Only by staying one step ahead of the game can companies expect to maximise the opportunities that will, undoubtedly, emerge.”