But not as you know it. Rather than harking back to our illustrious past, Manchester is all set to host two major manufacturing events – Industry 4.0 Summit and the Factories of the Future Expo − which have their eyes set firmly towards the future of advanced manufacturing.

The Business Growth Hub will be at the co-located events which take place between 4-5 April at Manchester Central.

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It’s a subject debated from Whitehall to works canteens. It’s getting harder to recruit skilled staff for all areas of manufacturing.

According to The Manufacturing Institute’s latest skills survey, 64 per cent of our respondents said that problems filling skilled roles were holding their businesses back.

The list of hard-to-fill jobs is long and varied.
Engineers, project engineers, project managers, electronics engineers, embedded software engineers, machine operators, general managers, CAD engineers, CAM engineers, maintenance engineers, applications engineers, fitters, department managers, lean minded supervisors/foremen and people with strong leadership skills are all proving difficult to recruit.
And more than 88 per cent of our respondents all agreed that they felt that the problem was getting worse.

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Alistair Toward, operations director at architectural lighting company ACDC, couldn’t be happier with the way his team responded to new skills and knowledge they picked up on The Manufacturing Institute’s Accelerated Route to Lean course.

“They found 6 or 7 things that saved us between £30 and £40k straight away. It was an amazing start,” said Alistair who has been at ACDC since 2011.

“The team who went on the ARTL course then presented a plan to the board to re-shape the shop floor which will cost £100,000 in staged payments but it could increase our capacity by up to £40m.

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When we think of a brand we usually think of a product – something you buy in a shop or is advertised on TV – but have you even considered that we as individuals all have a personal brand?

We are all known for the unique mix of skills, experience and personality that makes us who we are. So – whether we realise it or not we all have a personal brand.

So why is this important? Well, when you are being considered for a promotion at work or going for a new job, or volunteering for a project, your ‘brand’ (what you are known for) will consciously or subconsciously play a big part in the decision making process. It will play a big part, therefore, in your future success.

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Just some of the comments from our latest Team Leader Development Programme delegates who have just completed their 8-week course.

With modules covering everything from leadership to law to health and safety, the programme is aimed at helping team leaders achieve more and improve their confidence.

All delegates are supported by mentors from their companies who also attended the end of course presentations at Carrington Business Park near Manchester.

Said Tim Harford from Waters who was mentoring team leaders Justin Neeves and Mo Foroughi: “It’s been great.  You’ve unleashed some monsters! But seriously, it’s been great to see the changes in our guys. As a mentor I’ve been very busy keeping up with all the ideas they’ve been bringing back to the office.”

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