UK manufacturing fails to keep pace with millennial director trend
1 Jun 2021
The UK manufacturing sector is lagging behindthe rest of industry in the race to attract younger directors, warns a new survey.
While nearly 12% of British industry directors are comprised of millennials who were born after 1980, they amount to just 7.6% in manufacturing at board level – the lowest of any major sector says consultancy New Street Consulting Group.
By contrast the figure for retail is almost double at 14.7%, while utilities top the list at 16.7%.
Director at New Street Consulting Group Laurence Frantzis said: “Manufacturing lacks young talent at senior levels compared to almost every other sector. That is a problem that will only get worse if the industry doesn’t take steps to attract younger people.”
The lack of younger talent means manufacturing companies will likely suffer from a lack ofdiversity and slow to adopt key forms of new technology that may be critical for increased productivity, such as artificial intelligence.
An ongoing failure to attract graduates into the manufacturing industry will exacerbate this talent shortage in the coming years, leaving some manufacturers facing problems with succession planning for their senior leadership.
Sectors such as financial services and technology are often better able to attract top engineering graduates with bigger renumeration packages and a more progressive image, warns New Street.
It contrasts this with Germany, where the sector recruits a much higher proportion of engineering graduates. This is enhanced by the fact that 26% of all German university degrees conferred in 2017 were to engineering students, double the rate of the UK.
A key factor in reversing the problem would be to showcase the developments in their sector to give them a stronger chance of attract young talent, such as highlighting the ways in which their sector is pioneering cutting edge technology and leading the way on ESG issues.
Commented Frantzis: “If manufacturing companies don’t rethink their recruitment process and the way they’re perceived by millennials, they are at risk of getting left behind in the race for talent.”
“Millennial candidates may view the appeal of an employer through an entirely different lens to previous generations. They often place higher value on a company’s ESG record and their use of cutting-edge technology. With the manufacturing industry making great progress in both fields, manufacturers need to ensure their company image makes the most of these developments.”
Photo: Events such as the Southern Manufacturing Show have helped highlight the need for innovation and talent recruitment