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Can the UK Fill 78,000 Manufacturing Vacancies?


A webinar on the “Challenge of Talent Attraction and Retention in the Manufacturing Industry” by JVP Group’s Managing Director Alan Townsend, and Senior Policy Manager (Employment) Jamie Cater from Make UK, was attended by HR professionals across the UK. The insights and discussion covered a range of prevalent HR issues that the manufacturing industry is currently facing and the solutions to help resolve them.

Alan provided insight into the long-term recruitment challenges the manufacturing industry are facing and how to develop a long-term talent attraction strategy. Manufacturing is changing rapidly and dealing with the traditional issues of its outdated image and an ageing workforce, alongside new challenges from the impact of automation and robotization.

Alan shared key insights on how to develop a compelling talent attraction strategy to include initiatives such as:

  • Be the best version of yourself as an employer

Create an employer brand that talks to a younger audience and that represents modern manufacturing.

  • Think competitive and be competitive!

Your employee value proposition needs to demonstrate the full value of a career in manufacturing showcasing diversity, investment in training and the ability to be well rewarded.

  • Recruitment processes

Don’t allow poor outdated processes to cost you the hard-earned talent that you worked so hard to attract. Use technology to manage the process and create an engaging journey for the candidates.

Industry expert Jamie reflected on the people and skills challenges the industry is facing. Specifically, how the industry is trying to address the 78,000 live vacancies, the challenge of an ageing workforce and people leaving the workforce post the pandemic. Jamie spoke about the variety of initiatives in place to strengthen links with education, improve the reputation of manufacturing and create diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Alan comments:

“For manufacturing whilst it can’t be ignored that investment will be required, particularly in training, there are fundamental changes that can come through improvements in employee engagement and the development of compelling talent attraction strategies. Manufacturing needs to develop short, and long, term compelling talent attraction strategies to narrow the skills gap that continues to limit productivity and growth.”

Jamie states:

“Despite the average salary in the manufacturing industry being around 13% higher than the average employers reported being able to fill only 25% of vacancies in Q1 2023. The lack of candidates with the right technical skills is particularly prevalent in low to intermediate skill level roles. Make UK is championing a number of different initiatives to improve the image of manufacturing, promote apprenticeships and build diverse workforces.”

 



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