It's no secret that Britain’s manufacturers are struggling to recruit skilled workers and keep pace with global technology. According to the Executive Survey 2017 produced by the EEF, the manufacturing industry is set to continue with the ‘bumpy ride’ for the foreseeable future. The skills shortage is putting productivity growth at risk and adding to the pressure on manufacturers as they battle with the pressures in the domestic and overseas markets.
With the potential drop in migrant workers driven by Brexit, businesses need to understand how lesser access to the European workforce would affect productivity, access to top talent and resource planning.
Surely, now is the time to be investing more in current staff and engaging with education institutions to shore up the UK’s pipeline of home-grown skills? The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) are supporting employers to address skill challenges by pressing ahead with reforms to education, skills training, and higher education, making sure that every young person has the skills employers need now for the jobs of the future.
This 20-page survey produced by the EEF provides an in-depth look into the views of manufacturing executives’ on the year ahead. What actions are you already taking and what concerns do you have? I'd love to know.
While almost half of companies see more risks than opportunities in the year ahead, the sector is far from apprehensive. Instead, UK manufacturing is striding into 2017 with companies focused on delivering ambitious growth plans and feeling positive about firm level indicators on productivity, investment and employment, as well as domestic and overseas sales.