The team at MPM embracing the Leeds Manufacturing Festival
Ask any employer to name the key challenges they face and you can guarantee that finding applicants with the right skills to fill vacant posts will be near the top of the list. Nowhere more so than in manufacturing.
Recent surveys show nearly 70% of companies report difficulties with recruitment. With an ageing workforce, it’s becoming critical that manufacturers start to attract the next generation. Ben Wilson, managing director of MPM Ltd, explains why he’s backing Leeds Manufacturing Festival to help change perceptions and open the eyes of parents, teachers and young people to the real opportunities that careers in manufacturing present.
“We can all complain about lack of skills and the need for better engagement between councils, schools and businesses, but too many of us do nothing about it,” says Ben who has been at the helm of the family business since 2010.
Leeds Manufacturing Festival takes place for the first time in October this year and Ben is one of over 15 employers that have so far committed to hosting factory visits and visiting local schools during the festival to talk about manufacturing and the opportunities it presents.
“Ideally, the outcome of the festival would be for manufacturing to be seen as a positive route into the world of employment with some great opportunities available. We also want to see improved links between academic bodies and employers."
MPM, which is a specialist manufacturer of glass reinforced plastic, employs 35 which includes 2 apprentices. The newest recruit - Jessica Sugden, joined the team in January 2018 and has played a major part in getting MPM back on track after a recent devastating fire.
“A school should be tasked with inspiring young people and getting them ready for life and the opportunities ahead, not just ticking the academic boxes. By forming relationships with local employers, teachers and young people will have a better understanding of what those employers are looking for in the next generation and the opportunities and career paths available.”
The Festival is already getting people talking and can only help the future of manufacturing and routes into the sector.
“At MPM we’re determined to promote manufacturing in general but also build links that create a stronger future for all concerned and demonstrate the great opportunities that working in the sector presents. “It’s about promoting MPM and our brand, so the next generation know we are here and in the hope we create links that will be of benefit both to the business and to individuals wanting to work in the manufacturing sector.”
If you would like to read more about MPM, click here.