Manufacturing Insights Report
A skills-first approach to achieving growth
Caroline Milton – Manufacturing specialist
Ever wished you could see into the future? For manufacturers, the ability to see how the skills needs of their organisation might change in the future is becoming essential.
Keeping pace with market changes is increasingly important. Innovative new entrants, equipped with technological know-how and skills in areas such as automation and 3D printing are demonstrating their ability to disrupt marketplaces quickly and irrevocably. To avoid being left behind, manufacturers need to be continuously reviewing their business model and prioritising people and skills development at every opportunity.
Finding the right people with the right skills to support their growth plans is not easy however. Gone are the days when well trained candidates queued up for interviews whenever a position became available. Identifying the skills needs of the business and where to find them requires strong leadership and management focus.
Rather than leaving the problem of access to skills to chance, a well-considered people strategy that is aligned with business objectives can help manufacturers to plan ahead to strengthen their workforce and drive growth. But where should they start and how can they turn their investment in skills into a competitive advantage?
Buying more time will certainly help. Handling day-to-day people matters such as recruitment, induction, appraisals, payroll and disciplinary & grievance issues can be incredibly time-consuming for growing businesses and make it hard for managers to look further ahead. Some companies may find that outsourcing some of these functions can free up the management time needed to implement a more strategic, skills-first approach.
Sitting back and doing nothing is no longer an option. To stay competitive, manufacturers must take charge of people management and develop a strategy to ensure they have access to the skills they will need tomorrow.
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Manufacturing businesses know that to compete in today’s global markets they must operate efficiently in every way and a crucial part of this involves investing in the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. This skills-first approach will be essential to achieving growth in the future.”Caroline Milton