How do we attract tomorrow’s talent to manufacturing?

20/11/17

By Julie Mordue

As one of the top 5 UK regions for advanced manufacturing, the pressure on sourcing skilled talent in the North East region heightens the need for each employer to define their long term talent strategy.

In a competitive talent market manufacturing is not always viewed as offering the most attractive career prospects or the industry in which to build a professional career.

Industry 4.0 provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the emerging technologies and innovation to attract tomorrow’s talent with STEM skills. But, this talent pool is in high demand by many other industries. Manufacturing is not top of the list for today’s school leavers.

So how do we change perceptions of what it is like to work in modern manufacturing? Can we engage with young people and those who influence their career choices? How can we change perceptions of careers in modern manufacturing?

Many manufacturers are already doing considerable outreach to schools including; Primary Engineer, Industrial Cadets and Tomorrow’s Engineer. By engaging with students while they are still in education, companies can help to change negative perceptions of manufacturing. Let’s not forget that we also need to connect with parents, teachers and those inspiring careers such as, sports coaches, to separate myths from realities.

Manufacturing leaders can no longer wait to develop talent strategies. HR professionals understand the need to define a long term talent strategy. Unfortunately, day to day HR-tasks such as the need to fill immediate, business critical vacancies often take precedence.

Given the increasing importance of talent planning and organisational development, we are seeing a rise businesses outsourcing their current recruitment and to elevate their employee value proposition (EVP) thus freeing in-house HR to focus on more strategic objectives.

Just as investment in technology is driving innovation in manufacturing, companies need to invest in the planning and attraction of their future workforce ensuring the continued success of manufacturing in the North East.