What is it like to work in UK manufacturing?

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Why hear it from me, when you can hear it straight from the people who work in manufacturing?

You can read exactly what a day in the life of a manufacturing employee from some of the women who work in it.  And if that’s not enough to sell it, we’ve got some videos from some of guys and girls working in manufacturing who are looking to inspire the next generation with the Year of Engineering campaign.

 

Is manufacturing engineering a good career?

 In a word – Yes. In more lengthy detail, here’s why?

  • Job opportunities: manufacturers are crying out for talent – whether new recruits, returners or people looking for a new career. Companies continue to tell us that they are increasing their recruitment and looking for jobs to fill. In fact, Engineering UK estimates that we’ll 65,000 skilled entrants each year between now and 2024. And that’s just engineers – there are a myriad of jobs in manufacturing – you don’t need to be an engineer to work in our industry.

     

  • Employability: One year after graduation, 86% of Engineering and Technology graduates were either in sustained employment, further study or both – other graduates in medicine and dentistry beat engineers to it. And this shouldn’t be a surprise given two-thirds of manufacturers committed to recruit an engineering graduate in 2016. When it comes to apprenticeships – just as many opportunities are available. Did you know just 5% of EEF members have never offered apprenticeships?

     

  • Engineering pays: Earnings in manufacturing are almost £4,000 a year higher than the economy average (nice). If we look at graduates – an engineering and technology graduate has one of the best starting salaries.You’ll also earn over £150,000 more over your lifetime than someone who hasn’t done an engineering degree. And it’s not just those who choose an academic route – if you were to take an engineering apprenticeship, your extra lifetime earnings would equate to over £110,000.

     

  • It’s not just about the money, money, money: Manufacturing employers invest in their workforce. Over half of manufacturers say they support their employees through university while employed. Companies also retain their employees by offering flexible working well over the statutory minimum and opportunities to work across other parts of the business – a job in manufacturing can see you travel the world.
 67% of UK adults say they would be proud to work in manufacturing 
 

What do manufacturing engineers do?

The easier question is what don’t they do?

Some of my favourite examples are: designing video jackets for U2, creating and testing missions for astronauts to control a robotic arm or building the prototype for the rear of the Jaguar F-Type.

Pretty impressive stuff right?

But there are an array of jobs that you can undertake from a maintenance technician to a quality engineer to a software engineering. And then you can choose to work in various sectors whether its chemicals food and drink, aerospace or automotive.

 

FAVE FACTS ALERT! For any James Bond fans out there the UK is home to the Aston Martin. It was in Staffordshire that the UK started making marmite and the UK created Cadbury’s Dairy Milk! We make everything from Dr Marten Shoes to Henry Hoovers and even the 2012 London Olympic Cauldron.

 

Whatever your interests are you can find your way into manufacturing...our friends at the Royal Academy of Engineering came up with this super video: 

 

Where will the manufacturing jobs of the future be?

 

If we begin to look into our crystal ball we can begin to pinpoint the manufacturing jobs of the future.

Taking a broad brush approach job roles in manufacturing are increasingly going to be managerial, professional and associate professional and technical roles. We’re talking higher level and higher skills?

Why is that the case? Technological advancements are changing the manufacturing industry. You’ll have the heard the buzz words of automation, big data and virtual reality and all of these will play a part.

We’re going to need even more STEM professionals (science, technology, engineering and maths) but we’re not just talking engineers here, increasingly companies are looking for data scientists, analysts, technicians, software engineers, coders and programmes…I could go on and on.

 

Have I sold it to you?

I’m going to assume I have. Well an apprenticeship, degree or training programme to get you into manufacturing could be on the cards. And don't forget you don't have to be a new recruit you could be an existing employee looking for a career change (an apprenticeship can be for you too!)

Want to hear a bit more? Check out the latest in our Manufacturing on the Hop podcast......

 

Author

Head of Education & Skills Policy

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