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British manufacturing companies now compete with top City banks and leading innovation companies to secure employees with the relevant digital and technical skills.

The drive towards digitalisation of production processes has moved at pace in recent months, leaving companies desperate to recruit the best qualified technical engineers and data experts to ensure new automated processes are as successful as possible.

Crucially, manufacturers already find themselves competing with other sectors for this skilled talent across the board and will continue to do so in the coming years. Many of these roles are in demand across the economy. 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.

Half of manufacturers surveyed say they cannot source the talent their business needs locally, and some 62% reported they will not find it easy to ensure their businesses have the skills they need to power ahead to 2030. 
To address the issue of labour shortages which is now at a 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 who are simply not available to employers from the domestic labour force.
Stephen Phipson CBE, Chief Executive, Make UK
UK manufacturers are going through a period of transformation adapting their traditional operations and adopting new technologies to be more digitally enabled, remain competitive and reduce costs.
This evolution has created a need for more specialist, digital skills, required to maximise the benefits of technology. With labour shortages on the rise, urgent reform of the Apprenticeship Levy is required so that manufacturers can access and nurture the talent they need to remain successful and continue to grow.
Paul Struthers MD, UKI, Sage

Available resources

Industry report / Make UK