On the 21st of February, FWB Park Brown and Scottish Engineering hosted an Engineering Leadership Roundtable with a focus on discussing the opportunities and challenges for the sector, covering a variety of topics including Industry 4.0 & technology, the availability of skills and factors influencing overall industry productivity.
We were delighted to welcome along MP Carol Monaghan, elected Member of Parliament for Glasgow North West, and previous member of the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology.
With business investment stalling since the referendum and productivity significantly lower than the European and UK average, there are significant challenges for the sector. To add to this, we have an ageing workforce and a lack of new talent coming through to meet future demand, and at present vacancies in the sector account for 24%. The changing attitude of future generations is also indicating that the workforce have a preference to work shorter hours with more flexibility, compounding the challenge of accessible skills.
This does however present opportunity. Technology and automation has an important role to play, not only in promoting more efficient and effective workplaces, but also in addressing business and societal objectives with regards to the environment and sustainability.
During the forum there was a shared view that industry and government have to work closer to rebrand and promote the sector to future generations, starting with early stage education around the opportunities and variety within the sector. It remains a challenge constructing a diverse workforce within, and significant effort will be required by organisations to become more inclusive, flexible and agile to appeal to a changing mindset from future talent.
In becoming more agile, business will have to adapt to the requirements of employees around flexible working, they will have to identify talent within their own organisation and offer retraining and upskilling opportunity – making more of what they have. And most importantly all will have a part to play in repositioning engineering as a career of attraction and choice.
Delegates at the forum included business leaders from the global engineering, defence, automotive, consumer goods and energy sectors.
If you would like to speak to a member of the team about this, or future events around Engineering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jamie Brown, Director, FWB Park Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.