Posted on 8th November 2017
Local Manufacturers Focus on ‘Industry 4.0’
Sussex manufacturers will need to focus on upskilling and digitisation to reap the benefits of ‘Industry 4.0’ – the so-called fourth industrial revolution.
The latest meeting of METALL (the Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Alliance), a forum for south coast and Gatwick diamond businesses in the sector, heard that while robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence offered potential for productivity gains, there were structural barriers to overcome.
Speaking at the event, Philippa Oldham, Head of Manufacturing and Transport for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), said nine in 10 manufacturers were aware of developments in robotics, but that industry’s skills gap remained a significant challenge.
“We need to get more people excited about engineering, from apprentices through to Phd graduates, so that we are equipped as a sector to optimise the value of the fourth industrial revolution,” she said. She estimated that manufacturing needed to find 182,000 new technicians and engineers every year until 2022 to meet demand.
This skills gap was underlined in the latest MHA Carpenter Box manufacturing and engineering report, which showed that 84% of manufacturing businesses in the south east were struggling to recruit people. Despite these challenges, the survey found that the majority of local businesses remained optimistic about the future which perhaps reflects the fact that engineers, by definition, solve problems.
METALL is supported by MHA Carpenter Box chartered accountants, asb law and sector recruitment professionals, CBSbutler.
"Since joining BHBPA we have found it to be a dynamic and vibrant members’ organisation, with excellent, regular and informative meetings.
Peter Liddell does a first class job in ensuring that members’ interests are aired and addressed.
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."