Girl power triumphed at The Manufacturing Institute’s Make It Grand Final in Manchester.

The event was the culmination of 12 months of manufacturing Challenges across the North West thanks to funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company and individual sponsors.

Teams of 13 and 14 year olds from North Wales, Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and East and West Cheshire came together for a deeper challenge to test their teamwork and enterprise skills at Old Trafford Football Ground.

Despite having just five team members instead of eight, the winners were Penwortham Girls’ School who wowed the judges with their enthusiasm and creativity.

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Not only has he completed and passed The Manufacturing Institute’s Accelerated Route to Lean Manufacturing Programme, he has also been awarded a prestigious Lean Manufacturing Fellowship.

The extra accolade is for a project at his Rettenmaier UK Manufacturing Limited plant near Nottingham which demonstrates the application of lean principles leading to measurable improvement outcomes.

Said Sean: “I would recommend the ARTL programme to other manufacturers without question. I liked the venue, I liked the people and I liked the work. It was a very well structured course and ticked all the boxes for me to improve my role at Rettenmaier.

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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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The skills shortage in manufacturing and engineering is real, urgent and needs tackling now.

That was the overriding message from The Spectator’s Power of Manufacturing forum in London this week.

The event brought together industry giants from BAE, Jaguar Land Rover, Iain Wright MP, chair of the Business, Innovation & Skills Select Committee, industry commentators from UKTI, PwC, The Manufacturing Institute, and a team of new apprentices to discuss the future of manufacturing.

In his keynote address Ian Wright said that it was time to get rid of the “ridiculous, artificial and ludicrous notion” that so-called failures should be pushed towards apprenticeships.

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