A parents guide to a career in manufacturing

Many Leeds businesses are struggling to attract young people into a career in manufacturing and there’s a real shortage of young people in the sector. If we don’t start taking this more seriously, a future skills shortage could affect our economy massively.

It’s no surprise that manufacturing & engineering graduates are now in high demand. But not enough students are considering a career in this sector, and they are losing out on the rewards and opportunities on offer and some fantastic roles. At the same time, not many parents know of the excellent opportunities that are out there either.

The advantages of a career in manufacturing

  • Opportunities are continuously growing. As modern world technology advances, so does a career in manufacturing. A career in manufacturing can open many doors as these skills are crucial in today’s world – and will only become more vital with the advance of new technologies.
  • Manufacturing is not a boring career or irrelevant to the real world – a career in manufacturing can make a positive difference to the world! Manufacturing is behind everything you see around you – from smartphones and trainers to the car you travel in and the food you eat.
  • Careers in manufacturing can be very well paid and really rewarding too. Average wages in this sector are well above the UK average. There’s also lots of exciting opportunities to grow personally and develop your skills.

Types of manufacturing careers

There are thousands of unfilled positions at various levels in manufacturing and skilled people are always in demand and never out of work in this sector. We’re always on the lookout for welders, engineers, CNC operators, panel wirers, assemblers, fabricators and project managers. But there’s also a lot of opportunities for commercial roles such as sales executives, finance managers, customer service advisors and design engineers. The list is endless!

How to get into manufacturing

There are many ways to get into the world of manufacturing as a career and you don’t always need qualifications to apply. Generally, you will need a pass in GCSE Maths, English and Science but many employers don’t even require these grades. Some businesses will offer on the job training and mentoring or apprenticeships and traineeships for school leavers. Or there’s the college route to consider too…..

Key skills to consider

There are many skills which are good to cultivate if your child is considering a career in manufacturing – ones that will stand them in good stead for a job in this sector. These are:-

  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Team working
  • Logical thinking
  • Attention to detail

What next?

If all of this sounds interesting to you as a parent, it’s your job to encourage your child to consider a career in manufacturing. You could start off by visiting museums or reading articles on this sector so that they can see what it’s all about.

Another idea is to encourage them to get some work or volunteering experience at a local manufacturing business. That will give your child the best opportunity to see what it’s like working in that environment and what areas of manufacturing might be interesting to work in.

The Leeds Manufacturing Festival is aimed at getting more young people into a career in manufacturing and is running many events over the next few months including careers fairs, school visits, factory tours and manufacturing exhibitions. Take a look for yourself – https://bit.ly/2WoIK8W