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Jobs and careers in the UK manufacturing industry


The manufacturing industry in the UK is alive and well and the range of training opportunities, jobs and careers within the industry is well worth looking into…

What is the manufacturing industry all about?

Manufacturing is basically all about people and machines working together, to make and produce things on a large scale. It can also be the process of converting raw materials like oil, metals or minerals, into finished products. Think of all the stuff around you that has to be made by machines or chemical processing – cars, aeroplanes, phones, computers, tools, farm machinery, petrol, pharmaceuticals, food, drink and textiles – all these things come under the manufacturing banner. The CBI has a good website with lots of info on the UK manufacturing industry.

The role of manufacturing in the UK economy

Manufacturing makes up a big part of lots of different industries in the UK and abroad think of it as a huge production line which sources, supplies and uses different materials to produce all sorts of other goods and products, which are then sold on to other businesses and industries. The money made by the manufacturing industry is vitally important to the UK economy.

Manufacturing – a growth employment area

Britain used to be top of the league in the manufacturing game but production has been declining in this country since the 1960s. Other countries just simply got better at manufacturing things faster, cheaper and on a much bigger scale. Our manufacturing industry as it exists today is fairly healthy and if we are to believe the politicians, manufacturing will continue to be targeted as an area for major growth and investment over the next few years and job opportunities are now steadily on the increase

Job opportunities for young people in manufacturing

So what’s in it for young people? How is the Government going to improve and expand our once unrivalled manufacturing industry? Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that apprenticeship and trainee schemes in the UK manufacturing industry are alive and kicking and up for grabs, including advanced apprenticeships on manufacturing.  Opportunities are springing up all over the country, so why not take advantage of them? The following case study is an example of just one young person’s success story. For more info on manufacturing jobs and careers go to our engineering page.

Manufacturing traineeships – a case study

Damian Williams, 20, from Walsall, was one of the first trainees to take part in Skills Training UK’s Traineeships for Industry in the Midlands, having been searching for work for almost two years. After securing the work placement to train with local manufacturing firm, Gerrymet, he was later offered a permanent position at the company. Damian found out about the training through his local Jobcentre and Pam Walters, a work coach at the Bridle Court Jobcentre in Walsall, recently went along to check on his progress. Damian said, “I’m really happy. I’d never considered doing anything like this before but I’m really enjoying working at Gerrymet and doing something that’s hands-on. I can say to people now, “I’m 20 and I’ve got a job!” and it’s made a huge difference to my life.”


About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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