An insight into modern manufacturing

7 May 2014
IET Communications team
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Image of robotic arms at work

IET, as part of the Engineering the Future alliance, warns on skills shortages.

A new report from the IET, as part of the Engineering the Future alliance with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has shown that UK manufacturers are overwhelmingly positive about their businesses today, but have concerns about skills shortages and a lack of appropriate, long-term Government assistance.

An insight into modern manufacturing, published today, paints a surprisingly positive picture of the state of today’s manufacturing industry, while revealing some challenges and constraints ahead.

The report tells the story of UK manufacturing through the words of manufacturers themselves. Through a series of interviews, it shows that UK manufacturing is a vibrant and resourceful part of the economy that is well-placed to deliver growth in globalised markets, to the benefit of the UK economy as a whole.

However, manufacturers are very concerned that, as their historical workforce retires,  they cannot get the engineers they need – the shortage of skilled workers was an issue that most of the interviewed companies highlighted as a main area of concern.

IET Chief Executive Nigel Fine said: “It’s great news to see that the UK’s manufacturing industry, which is often perceived as struggling, is in such fine form. The priority now must be to make sure it stays that way. A two-way dialogue between government and manufacturers will ensure that support can be consistently delivered to improve this valuable part of the economy.

“We should celebrate the diversity and success of our manufacturers in spite of such a challenging economic situation over the last few years.”

You can read more about the report in this story on the BBC News website. For more information on the IET’s work in the manufacturing area, please visit our Manufacturing Policy Panel and Design and Production Sector pages.

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