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Manufacturers are competing for shrinking pool of digital talent

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago

​The move towards digitalisation of production processes has accelerated in recent months, leaving companies desperate to recruit the very best qualified technical engineers and data experts to ensure new automation is as successful as possible.

A new report by Make UK, 'skills 2030, closing the gap' found:

◾The number of vacancies in the manufacturing sector is at a 20-year high, demonstrating the extent to which immediate labour shortages are affecting manufacturing employers.

◾The estimated cost of lost productivity due to vacancies in manufacturing being left unfulfilled in 2022 amount to £7.7-£8.3 billion.

◾50% of manufacturers say they cannot source the talent their business needs locally.

◾62% reported it will be difficult to ensure their business has the skills they need to power ahead to 2030.

Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation said: “To address the issue of labour shortages which is now at critical point, Government must ensure that the revised Shortage Occupation List is in place as soon as possible to plug the huge skills gap in data and digital technicians which are simply not available to employers from the domestic labour force.

Government should also look to urgently create an Employer Training Fund, funded by a portion of unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds, to support the upskilling and retraining of existing employees in critical skills as well as providing support to bring through the next generation of talent through routes such as T Levels for manufacturers to train up straight from school. This would also be the time to introduce apprenticeship incentives for areas of skills shortages, where targeted incentive payments are made available for apprenticeship courses (standards) in those skills areas where supply is most scarce.”

The fight for talent is set to intensify in the critical development years leading up to 2030 with sustainability and automation at the heart of most companies’ strategic planning.

Read more about the the report findings here.