One of the biggest challenges about attracting the right workforce and retaining local talent is ensuring we are signposting young people and adults to a destination that is right for them. Much work remains to demystify Leicestershires biggest sector – the world of manufacturing. The future workforce need to understand what this dynamic sector looks like and the pathways and progression available if they are to accept manufacturing as a viable career path.
Mythbusting can be achieved through a combined effort, with employers, educators, young people, parents and carers all having access to the right labour market information, to inform conversations about real opportunities available, right on their doorstep.
As part of the Leicester Business Festival, Sandra Wiggins, Co-founder of DPI UK and LBV Board Member hosted a panel discussion event on ‘Celebrating the Diverse Manufacturing Sector of Leicestershire’ at the Boohoo factory in Leicester. Local leaders from the business and manufacturing sector, local authorities and education establishments were invited to talk about: the benefits and opportunities available in this sector, how the industry is breaking stereotypes, raising awareness of the need for more women to go into STEM employments and to discuss what more needs to be done to connect local businesses to education.
Sandra Wiggins, organiser for this event said:
“I’m so proud of the event and cannot thank everyone enough for all the help and contribution to making what I feel was a success and an excellent platform to build on. The power of a collective voice will change our industry and region. The manufacturing workforce is full of skilled, clever, tenacious, resilient people who make decisions every second of the day on the shop floor as the norm. The more we help our workforce to see they are the ‘hearts blood’ of our businesses, the quicker our objective will be met as they become the advocates and mentors for the next generations.”
In Leicester, the power of relationships and networking is huge, and employers have a part to play in this collaboration, to ensure Leicester and Leicestershire is once again known as the leading, world-renowned manufacturing hub. We have Leicestershire Business Voice (LBV) to thank for the hosting and organisation success of this event. LBV provide an influential platform for our county’s businesses to help shape the commercial landscape.
Jackie Bertram, Deputy CEO of Fashion Enter UK said:
“Networks can grow Leicestershire manufacturing and to create jobs and opportunities. To futureproof the industries, it is important to open businesses and showcase jobs of the future to capture the imagination of the next generation.”
The benefits of working in the manufacturing sector are well-paid opportunities for those without higher-level qualifications (offering higher than average area wages), particularly through vocational and technical training routes. Employers are offering more opportunities to work flexibly and to help train and upskill their staff, working collaboratively to ensure the wellbeing of their staff and of the local community.
Some of the top skills required in manufacturing include communication, management, organisation, problem solving, customer service and self-motivation. However, many employers are simply looking for people with the right attitude and behaviour to work.
Anna Cyhan, Economic Growth and Investment Officer from the LLEP said:
“There are some excellent area offers that can better connect industry with a future skills pipeline, raising awareness of the wide range of careers in this exciting sector, like the LLEP Careers Hub, T Levels, apprenticeships and internships. It is key that we collaborate to raise awareness of such schemes to SMEs across manufacturing and highlight how these offers can benefit their business.’’
Find out more about this sector in the World of Work Leicestershire resources here:
You can also better link your business with the future workforce by viewing local case studies and options to help your business goals here: