With the UK manufacturing PMI and CBI SME trends survey out today, Atul Kariya, head of manufacturing at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, comments on the urgent need to address the growing skills crisis threatening the sector:
“The CBI SME trends survey and UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index have once again emphasised the dire skills shortage facing the sector. Manufacturers are already juggling increasing cost pressures in the face of economic and political uncertainty, and need to review their contingency plans for the year ahead to shelter their profits.
“The threat of the continued struggle to attract new talent to the sectors must not be underestimated. While the apprenticeship levy intended to address the issue, it has barely scratched the surface, with minimal impact on encouraging workers to enter the industry. A cultural change is needed within the industry, with more focus on increasing incentives among manufacturing businesses; for example through campaigns to drive more vocational training, increasing on the job training opportunities or implementing tax breaks.
“At this stage the skills shortage is merely simmering on the surface, but if action isn’t taken, we will see a full blow skills crisis within the next five years. ”