20 Apr 2024

Experts urge for comprehensive skills strategy at National Manufacturing Summit

National Manufacturing Summit 2024

Industry experts convened at The National Manufacturing Summit 2024 held at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, UK, to address the need of a comprehensive skills strategy to keep pace with innovation in the manufacturing sector.

The summit, which took place on the 14th of March, brought together leaders from the UK’s advanced manufacturing industry to deliberate on the future workforce needs. Discussions centred on addressing the ongoing labour shortage and devising strategies to upskill the existing workforce. Among the prominent organisations represented were the MTC, Lloyds Bank, Dell Technologies, Drone Major, Data Shack, Epicor, and Schneider Electric. The event attracted over 400 stakeholders and manufacturing experts in attendance, with an additional 6000 participants engaging online throughout the day.

Central to the deliberations was the role of automation in complementing the future workforce and the importance of preparing employees now to seamlessly adopt future technologies, thereby ensuring that the next generation of engineers possesses the requisite skills.

A noteworthy aspect of the summit was the involvement of schools from Coventry and Warwickshire, with 45 students aged 14-17 given the opportunity to participate in the discussions and tour the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC). Additionally, attendees, including students, had the chance to meet Richard Browning, founder of Gravity Industries, and witness first-hand the company’s technology, alongside the latest advancements in drone technologies.

Dr. Graham Hoare, CEO of MTC, remarked on the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan as a positive step towards fostering innovation in the sector. However, he emphasised the urgent need for the workforce to adapt to the rapidly changing technological landscape. Dr. Hoare stressed the importance of both training a new generation of workers and upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce to meet the evolving demands of the industry. He called for industry leaders to collaborate with academia and relevant training providers to outline a comprehensive strategy in this regard.

The National Manufacturing Summit, an annual event launched in 2021, serves as a platform for UK manufacturers to exchange best practices, knowledge, and strategic insights.