Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Boosting workforce skills is top priority for manufacturers

Boosting workforce skills should be a top priority for manufacturers with operations in the Midlands to remain globally competitive, according to a new report from KPMG.

Almost two-thirds (58%) of manufacturing businesses with operations in the Midlands surveyed by the professional services firm felt the need for a better educated workforce was the number one driver required to improve productivity within their organisations.

KPMG’s “Rethink Manufacturing” report comes as the industry faces a number of challenges driven by technological innovation, evolving customer behaviour, regulatory changes and a turbulent global landscape.

A more supportive government policy came a close second, as over half of respondents with manufacturing operations in the Midlands agree that this would allow them to increase investment in new technologies, including artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and augmented reality.

Nick Harrison, partner and supply chains & operations lead at KPMG in the Midlands, said: “Our report finds the majority of manufacturing executives with operations in the Midlands view boosting workforce skills and quality education as the key priorities for the manufacturing sector’s continuing growth. If the skills challenge in the Midlands is not effectively addressed, manufacturing and associated industries are at risk of decline. Manufacturers can take action now by investing in training, education and continuous development to raise the region’s productivity and prosperity for the future.

“Similarly, respondents highlighted the desire for UK government support to help them boost investment in R&D and digitilisation. The government shares this appetite, as highlighted in its recent industrial strategy. Through such support, the UK has an opportunity to position itself as a globally attractive and competitive base for advanced manufacturing”.

The survey also found following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, almost a third of manufacturers with operations in the Midlands (32%) would consider relocating some of their operations out of the UK, while almost two-thirds (57%) had no plans to move.

Karen Briggs, head of Brexit at KPMG, said: “When our survey was carried out in January, two thirds of respondents with operations in the Midlands expected uncertainty around Brexit. However Britain’s makers are an especially resolute group. Although some are concerned about exchange rates, labour pressures and higher indirect taxation, they are also taking a range of practical measures to prepare. These include partial relocation, supply chain management, increased business development, and new sources of financing. UK manufacturers realise that Brexit will demand a burst of innovation from both the private and public sectors if the UK is really going to reach new global markets and deliver on its potential”.

Harrison added: “Whilst support from government will certainly provide a helping hand, it cannot work alone. Industry must also step up and improve its own productivity through recruiting new skills and preparing for the integration of technology. If these challenges are not effectively addressed, manufacturing and associated industries are at risk of decline.

“Collaboration between sectors, as well as between industry, government and the education sector, is critical to capture the great opportunities that manufacturers recognise exist”.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Refurbishment specialist appointed to multi-million pound fire and police business hub project

Office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has been appointed to undertake a multi-million pound refurbishment of a new business services hub for Northamptonshire...

New partner promotion for BDO in the Midlands

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has promoted 20 new partners across the firm with Jonathan Lanes named Risk Advisory Services (RAS) partner...

boohoo snaps up Debenhams IP for £55m

boohoo, the online fashion retailer, has acquired all of the intellectual property assets (including customer data and related business information and selected contracts) of...

Local leaders urge Boris Johnson to “deliver the whole of HS2 to level-up UK”

Leaders from along HS2's Eastern Leg have written to the Prime Minister, urging him to deliver both the local improvements and national connectivity which...

Multi-million pound orders see engineering firm embark on recruitment drive

Around £4 million of orders were placed in January at GAME Engineering, which specialises in materials handling solutions and security products for use in...

Related news

Plans submitted for Local Centre at new mixed-use development in Nottingham

Detailed plans for the Local Centre at the new mixed-use development at Teal Park in Nottingham have been submitted. Despite the economic problems surrounding the...

Refurbishment specialist appointed to multi-million pound fire and police business hub project

Office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has been appointed to undertake a multi-million pound refurbishment of a new business services hub for Northamptonshire...

New partner promotion for BDO in the Midlands

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has promoted 20 new partners across the firm with Jonathan Lanes named Risk Advisory Services (RAS) partner...

boohoo snaps up Debenhams IP for £55m

boohoo, the online fashion retailer, has acquired all of the intellectual property assets (including customer data and related business information and selected contracts) of...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close