A recent survey has uncovered some concerning findings that could have a serious impact on skilled workers for the manufacturing sector now and in the not too distant future. In fact, the manufacturing industry is struggling to find skilled staff to help keep up with consumer demand, but according to a recent survey conducted by Barclays Corporate Banking, the future is looking bleaker still as the number of new employees entering the workforce is at its lowest on record. Over 2,000 young people took part in the survey; an underwhelming 6% of 16 to 23-year olds said that they would consider a career in manufacturing with 47% saying that the sector didn’t appeal to them while a further 35% believed that they did not have the required skills to gain a position in the industry. With a shortage of trained workers and little interest from those soon to be joining the UK workforce, these results show that even more pressure is set to be heaped on the manufacturing sector due to a lack of new entrants to the industry. This is in stark contrast to the growth in manufacturing productivity in the period spanning 2010 to 2017, where overall productivity increased by 3.1% which is higher than whole economy productivity growth of 2.4% during the same period. 

As the sector continues to demand greater productivity with far fewer workers, emphasis must be placed on employee safety and wellbeing to ensure that productivity levels stay positive in 2019. New solutions, on the other hand, have been already put into practice. Examples include automated shipping, machinery aid or heavy-goods being ordered either via phone or online and shipped the very same day, meaning that businesses can help keep up with demand without putting their workers at risk and ensure that productivity levels are maintained despite the skills shortage. Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting equipment for the manufacturing industry, recently commented about the survey, “With many of our customers operating in the manufacturing industry, we want to help support their productivity and provide them with the best quality lifting equipment to help ease the physical toil and pressure placed on workers in the sector.

That’s why we’ve set up out same-day dispatch service from our central distribution centre to help keep the wheels turning and provide employees with every piece of lifting equipment they would need to carry out their roles safely.”