Made Here Now, the UK-wide initiative to encourage more young people into manufacturing as a career, is celebrating a major milestone with the launch of a new website at MadeHereNow.com, containing inspirational videos, success stories and photography.
Backed by 37 sponsors, including leading hi-rel connector and SMT board hardware manufacturer Harwin Plc, the website is aimed at young people wanting to find out what careers are available in the sector as well as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers seeking ways to inspire their own students.
Among the new stories that feature on the website is an exclusive about how Britain is moving up the world manufacturing league table. The article shows that the UK was the world’s eighth-biggest nation by manufacturing output in 2015 – the most recent year for which internationally comparable data are available – with just over two per cent of total output. This is according to calculations by Made Here Now based on the latest figures from the United Nations’ statistical database.
The new site was previewed at the launch of the UK Manufacturing Review 2016-17, an event attended by many of the initiative’s Phase Two sponsors, all of whom predict a bright future ahead for UK manufacturing in the year ahead despite uncertainty following the Brexit vote.
Attendees from sponsors included Professor Raj Roy (director of manufacturing at Cranfield University), Paul O’Donnell (head of external affairs at the Manufacturing Technologies Association), Professor Mike Bradley (director at The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling, University of Greenwich) and Andy Wright (director of strategic technology at BAE Systems). John O’Higgins, CEO of Spectris, a supporter of Phase Two, also attended, as did Advisory Board members Baroness Brown and Greg McDonald.
Professor Roy said at the event that he is positive about manufacturing in 2017 but that firms need to find the best way to operate once the Brexit deals are finalised while Professor Bradley believes UK manufacturers must focus on what they do best in producing high quality products and then find strategies to compete in a market that is often solely driven by price.
The UK Manufacturing Review 2016/17 is a 260-page review of the progress of sectors, technologies and themes that relate to manufacturing. The only comprehensive review of these subjects on this scale in publication, the book is written by experts in each field and is designed to be a benchmark tool for industry and government to check the progress of actions to develop these sectors and technologies. It is published by Stirling Media.
Made Here Now’s founder, Peter Marsh, says: “I was encouraged to hear from so many of the people attending this launch event that the future is looking bright for manufacturing in 2017 and I believe our new website has a major role to play in inspiring the next generation of makers and manufacturers.
“The site features a wealth of resources and inspiring stories, many in video format to appeal to our target age group of 11 to 16 year olds, and I hope it will serve to provide manufacturers with the workforce they will need as we move forward in rather uncertain times.
“During this project, I have met many innovative manufacturers and companies, as well as working closely with academics, and all of them are concerned about where the future workforce is coming from so the UK can continue to be at the forefront in this sector.
“To succeed in manufacturing, companies need to grow and the website features inspiring stories about how a company like Brompton Bicycles started from small beginnings but has now just invested £2m in a new factory and is planning to start production of its first electric bike.” he added.
Steve Adams, managing director at Pepperneck, the Malvern-based marketing agency responsible for the new website, comments: “Young people also need to be aware that manufacturing is changing rapidly and offers an increasingly well paid, diverse and rewarding range of careers to suit many people’s talents so the website also signposts young people to the wide range of routes into the profession, including apprenticeships, degrees, work placements and graduate schemes.
“It even features sections aimed at the very first steps students can take to develop a career in manufacturing, including school-based competitions and challenges that will encourage even the youngest student to consider getting involved,” he added.
“The website has evolved following discussions with the Design and Technology Association and the next stage of the initiative will see the website being marketed to STEM teachers and students to encourage its use on the widest possible scale.”
Peter added: “I would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters for their interest in MadeHereNow.com and hope they enjoy exploring the new website, as well as sharing it with their own friends and colleagues. We look forward to receiving everyone’s feedback and suggestions.”
Image caption: Peter Marsh, founder of Made Here Now