The UK manufacturing industry contributed £72 billion to the economy in 2013. It accounts for 4 per cent of total UK employment, employing 1.3 million in 2014. Find out about job prospects in the manufacturing industry.
Although employment is expected to decline generally in manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, which makes up 23% of manufacturing enterprises is expected to see some growth areas and there are predicted to be plenty of job opportunities, particularly in specific areas like pharmaceuticals, aerospace and scientific research and development. You can find out about job prospects and average salaries on our careerometer.
Changes, challenges and hard to fill vacancies in the manufacturing industry – get on board and find out how aiming for a career in this sector might put you in a great position of employment in the future.
Manufacturing is shaped by all sorts of things, like low carbon policies and legislation other drivers new export opportunities, developments in technologies and materials, such as composites, the computerisation of many machines and the development and use of design packages, such as CAD, CAM and CNC – 3D printing technologies are also driving the industry.
All of these changes mean that the need for employees with the skills to build, operate and maintain production line machinery is set to grow.
What manufacturing jobs should you expect to see?
It is predicted that that there will be an increased need for production managers and directors who have not just technical skills but business, leadership and management skills in order to develop opportunities, particularly for new export contracts.
Production and process engineers and biological scientists / biochemists are also expected to be in high demand.
IT skills are going to be essential to a workforce who will be working in an industry that driven by technological advances. Not just work with design software, such as CAD / CAM but also to maintain programme-driven machinery.
At the moment, employers in manufacturing report that there is shortage in the industry of technically and practically skilled staff (source: UKCES Employers Skills Survey, 2013) – although many employees may have received on the job training but as older workers retire they need to be replaced.
Job roles in manufacturing are varied, highly skilled and salaries in advanced manufacturing are higher than in manufacturing generally, having seen an 11% increase since 2008.
Working in advanced engineering offers a great opportunity for females too – at the moment 74% of the workforce is male – so get in there girls! The UK manufacturing industry needs you.
There are lots of manufacturing apprenticeship frameworks including the process manufacturing apprenticeship and the composite engineering apprenticeships, both of which are available and intermediate and advanced levels. Advanced manufacturing offers a great opportunity to develop a successful career and advance within the company as well as perhaps travel in order to secure new export contracts.