Skills shortage impacting manufacturing

Posted on 17 Jun 2017 and read 681 times
Skills shortage impacting manufacturingNew statistics — taken from a manufacturing-industry survey by audit, tax and consulting firm RSM ( — show that recruiting and retaining talent is a continuing problem for the manufacturing sector.

According to the results in RSM’s UK Manufacturing Monitor, almost half of the respondents confirmed that people risks (49%) and skills shortages (43%) are a major challenge.

All areas of business are affected, in particular attracting people with the right skills in production, sales and marketing, and R&D. This issue is magnified due to the ageing workforce in manufacturing, with 75% of respondents flagging this as a key concern.

The average age of manufacturing staff has increased, as many organisations struggle to recruit younger workers — highlighting a long-term challenge.

Despite the critical need to attract younger workers with future-fit skills, nearly two thirds of manufacturers did not think that the new Apprenticeship Levy, introduced by the Government in April, would have an impact on apprenticeship numbers.

Nick Blundell, head of manufacturing at RSM’s Birmingham office covering the Central Region, said: “The sector is facing a perfect storm, when it comes to skills.

It has an ageing workforce of experienced workers, who are vital to the on-going success of each business, but a difficultly attracting younger talent.

This highlights a major gap in the transfer of knowledge, and unless action is taken now, the skills could effectively be lost.

“In addition, Brexit will only increase recruitment and retention threats, as any changes to ‘freedom of movement’ rules following exit negotiations could further reduce the supply of young, trained workers.

“To tackle this issue head on, manufacturers need to be brave and adopt new ways to recruit top talent, while engaging their workforce to ensure they retain them.”

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