Uk to face Post-Brexit skills shortage in manufacturing as employers report difficulty in recruiting workers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 5th Dec, 2018) London, Uk – –

The sector is looking ahead to a future with too few trained workers and not enough youngsters wanting to learn.

British manufacturing is facing a post-Brexit skills shortage with too few trained workers and not enough youngsters wanting to learn, according to a survey.

Only 6% of 16 to 23-year-olds surveyed for Barclays Corporate Banking are considering a career in manufacturing, which spans the economy from food to chemicals.

And 47% of the 2,000 young people asked said they are not interested in the industry because it does not appeal to them, while 35% thought they lacked the required skills.

The survey also revealed that half of the sector's employers are reporting difficulties in recruiting workers.

More than a third of firms reported that too many job applicants do not have the right skills, particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths.

But despite the problems, a quarter of employers said they had no intention of investing more in recruitment.

Helena Sans, head of manufacturing at Barclays, said it showed a “mismatch” between perceptions of the industry and the careers on offer.

She said: “The skills most desired by young people include decision-making, complex problem-solving and technical skills.

“These match the skills that manufacturers say employees gain from working in the industry and highlight the need for businesses to engage and inspire the younger generation.”

Neville Kildunne, works manager at chemicals and services firm Christeyns in Bradford, told Sky News he hoped foreign workers will still be able to apply for jobs in the sector after Brexit.

He added that a shortage now means some jobs can now only be filled if the salary on offer is increased by 20%.

He added: “There's not a pool of these people out there and available, sat down on park benches waiting to be offered employment. They're already employed, so you have to become an employer of choice.”

Christeyns describes its expanded apprenticeship scheme and outreach work in local schools as “essential”.

The manufacturing sector survey carried out for Barclays is published as a separate study by the left-wing think tank IPPR North, which says imbalance in the economy is getting worse.

The report says the North-South divide is getting wider, with pay, public spending, household wealth, poverty and life expectancy all worse in the North.

It calls on the government to commit to “a more comprehensive approach to transforming the North's economy”.

By Gerard Tubb