Aspire-igen is a Yorkshire based social enterprise and careers specialist. As part of Bradford Manufacturing Week, Aspire-igen is responsible for matching schools and employers together, to ensure that young people across the district have access to a valuable manufacturing experience. Head of Aspire Enterprises, Jo Hainsworth and Shine Careers manager, Rick Cowling took a look at how manufacturing careers are changing:
The UK economy is changing fast and there are a range of factors that play a key role in employment patterns in the manufacturing sector. Expansion in the building sector has supported growth in manufacturing, and competition from abroad continues to have an influence. Additionally, advancement technology has seen the sector becoming more automated and changes in consumer demands affect the way that goods are produced.
It is predicted that manufacturing industries will continue to become more automated, and therefore more efficient, over the next decade. This will raise the requirements for professional and managerial staff, but reduce demand for skilled and elementary employees, such as production workers and technicians. Future employment in the sector will focus on higher level roles that will require more advanced skills, although lower level roles will still be important.
Health and safety will continue to be important across the sector, with industries working towards demanding targets.
Low carbon and sustainability will be key drivers as green issues become more important. A shift towards more efficient and effective working methods with advances in technology and working practices.
Bradford is a producer city, with over 1,200 manufacturing businesses employing 25,000 people in the district. This accounts for 13% of all employees compared to a 8.3% national average. While Bradford’s core economy has maintained its manufacturing base, new clusters of businesses are emerging which offer an exciting potential for future growth, as highly productive and innovative industries of a new economy. These, modern day developments of automation, electronics and computer components brings a significant shift to the workplace. Gone are the days of the dirty, noisy warehouses that have traditionally been considered the norm. These days, when visiting a manufacturing company, you are more likely to witness a clean, well-organised workplace using modern, innovative technology.
The manufacturing sector in Leeds City Region is projected to generate almost 40,000 opportunities through replacement demand alone and that the replacement profile of new recruits will need to be higher than the people they replace. Meeting this demand is challenging, particularly as engineering skills are highly valued across many sectors. As the shape of manufacturing changes it becomes more important than ever for manufacturers to develop a pipeline of trained and skilled young people to meet the demands of the sector.
Bradford Manufacturing Week 2019 will address some of these challenges by communicating the modern realities of a career in manufacturing, broaden young people’s experiences of the different roles and inspire the next generation of innovators, engineers, designers and technology specialists.