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.
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"“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! ” "