The UK is the eighth largest industrial nation in the world, and if current trends continue, it will break into the top five by 2021. The manufacturing sector makes up 44% of total UK exports, directly employs 2.6 million people and contributes £6.7 trillion to the global economy.

With the growth of the industry showing no signs of stopping, business leaders need to be at the top of their game, to maximise future success - especially when it comes to manufacturing training methods and graduate training.

Bridging the skills gap

It is no secret that the demand for talented, young manufacturing employees currently outweighs the supply across the sector. Research from the Professional Division of Miele recently discovered that 80% of manufacturers agree that skilled workers are the most critical factor for achieving quality, whereas 30% believe that the lack of access to skilled workers will be problematic in the next five years. Applications for manufacturing training courses have increased in the past few years, however, and manufacturing leaders must ensure that this persists by keeping young people informed about the various opportunities in manufacturing and how they can help forge their career in the industry.

Effective Graduate Training

Equipping young professionals with all the tools necessary to succeed in the sector can be achieved more effectively by interacting with them through digital means. With more and more millennials and Gen Z employees in the workplace; who have grown up with digital technology developments all around them, it’s important to ensure manufacturing training modules are suitable to be completed via methods they are familiar with, including phones and tablets. Providing graduate training information and activities in this way helps to assist with upskilling and peer learning, whilst also keeping graduates up-to-date with developments ahead of the competition - allowing them to develop strong working relationships through collaborative thinking.

Experiential learning

Graduate training programmes can be made more interactive and successful through experiential learning methods such as virtual simulations, virtual 3D models and workshops tailored to the specific needs and objectives of a business model. Whether your business is more suited to microlearning, multi-day workshops or individual modules, experiential learning methods develop manufacturing training much more than traditional methods ever did.

Planning for the future

According to CBI, the manufacturing industry rebounded in November, adding to the increase in sector developments. Business leaders must remember that the graduates of today are the leaders of the future, and while they may be currently at the bottom of the pile in the manufacturing hierarchy, the future CEOs and directors are these same people who will be responsible for maintaining the growth of the industry. Implementing an effective graduate training programme from an early stage will help to achieve this.

Setting up your manufacturing training programme to be as practical as possible to aid graduate training through digital and experiential learning methods will help preserve the future success of your company, and maintain the growing manufacturing sector.