UK Manufacturers Predict Recruitment Challenges 

New research has revealed that just over a third of manufacturers in the UK believe that recruiting new talent is currently one of the biggest challenges they are facing.  

A total of 34% of UK manufacturers cited hiring talent as a big challenge during a survey conducted by robot programming software experts Visual Components. Interestingly, the issue is even worse in the United States, where a total of 42% of manufacturers cited hiring talent as a major challenge. 

Indeed, technology skills shortages are prevalent around the world. Manufacturers also fear the situation will get worse as they expect a quarter of their workforce to leave their current roles over the next five years. Over half of these manufacturers also believe they will struggle to replace the lost knowledge and experience once their skilled workers leave. 

Innovative Solutions for Skills Shortages   

The Chief Executive of Visual Components, Mikko Urho, believes that there is a ready-made solution for incoming skills shortages. Urho explained: “The skills shortage has made it critical that manufacturers upskill current employees with supporting technologies to ensure that they sit at the centre of the production process in the age of Industry 5.0. 

“Deployment of robots, alongside digital solutions such as OLP and simulation software, can train employees in state-of-the-art solutions and also encourage new talent to join the sector.” 

Other companies are also looking for innovative solutions to the skills shortage. For example, software developers Enginuity have joined forces with vertical farming group Farm Urban to develop a video game aimed at students between the ages of 11 and 14. The Skills Miner game was launched during Digital Manufacturing Week and features a vertical farming theme that teaches kids food production skills while promoting production and engineering careers. 

Educating the Next Generation of Skilled Professionals 

Another interesting aspect of the research by Visual Components is the insight into the relationship between manufacturers and educational institutions. The study discovered that over half of manufacturers had no ties to educators, something that would help them bring through the next generation of skilled professionals. 

There is a developing issue with the legacy equipment that 31% of manufacturers are still using. The issue is that it is believed to be a deterrent to younger generations who are much more used to digital solutions.  

Another discrepancy was also discovered, with only 46% of manufacturers currently training staff to understand and operate new technologies. This is despite 81% of manufacturers claiming that their current set-up enabled their workers to be at the centre of the production process. 

So, there’s clearly some work to be done to fully modernise the manufacturing industry in the UK, certainly if it is to attract enough new talent to keep everything ticking along smoothly. 

If you need expert help to source warehouse, manufacturing and logistics talent in 2023, you can find exactly who you’re looking for – and fast – with Aqumen Recruitment. Get in touch to start your search. 

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