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The manufacturing and engineering community embraces diversity in the widest sense of the word.

 

Addressing gender imbalance

Clearly, there are very strong initiatives to look at addressing the gender imbalance in what was once seen as a male dominated sector and career path.

I have seen significant changes with STEM initiatives increasing the numbers of girls entering the workforce.

Back in February, at the CeeD Industry Awards 2020, the entries for the young person award was a healthy balance.

"The best companies embrace all of the firm’s diversity, from across the employee/talent bank as well as the operational breadth and encourage cross team and discipline working."

Joe Pacitti

Benefits of embracing diversity

Trading internationally as many do, then there is clear benefits in a workforce who may reflect their markets.

Engineering and manufacturing companies are also diverse in the types of skills they require to operate, in order to meet the demands of today and the future innovation and productivity challenges.

The breadth of roles in engineering companies encompass a significantly wide range of roles and disciplines, such as design, production, engineering, logistics, sales, marketing, new product development, finance and HR.

The best companies embrace all of the firm’s diversity, from across the employee/talent bank as well as the operational breadth and encourage cross team and discipline working.

Diverse roles in sector 

I would challenge new entrants to the job market looking at Foundation, Modern or Graduate Apprenticeships to consider companies in a sector where the there is a tradition of technology apprenticeships.

The experience in supporting and managing positive outcomes in these traditional sectors, I believe, allows these companies to have similar impacts in the newer, less traditional commerce and office based roles.

In addition, the diverse disciplines that co-exist in engineering and manufacturing companies can provide even more scope to embrace any role changes across a working life or career path.

When I visit engineering companies I often see projects with young engineers, male and female, working with augmented reality using hololens and robotics and advanced technologies such as 3D printing.

Often the technology teams are side by side with marketing and sales teams, developing new products and services. Gaming technology is embedding with traditional craft and technician roles.

Passing on skills through apprenticeships

I am also struck by the sense of community and the effect Apprenticeships bring to the existing older workforce.

Often it is the apprentice team that are tasked with bringing in new technology or working practices and systems.

The learning between the apprentice population and the existing workforce is two- way, as it should be.

The results often are a more energised workplace, a strong feeling of community and higher levels of well-being. This could suggest that the diversity of experience brings health benefits to a workforce.

"For those with different learning styles, or who prefer to earn as they learn, then the increasing breadth of apprenticeship routes is a fantastic addition."

Joe Pacitti

Opportunities in the sector

The more academic routes into the workplace, through FE and HE institutions, continue to be important to meet the future workforce challenges ahead. For those with different learning styles, or who prefer to earn as they learn, then the increasing breadth of apprenticeship routes is a fantastic addition.

Clearly, any sector or industry which embraces a broad type of routes into work and then the progression and development through your working life or career, should be one to seriously consider.

As an engineer by training and with much of my career being directly working in technology companies or supporting technology engineering and manufacturing, I am of course allowed to be biased towards the sectors and industries around manufacturing and engineering.

I can strongly support the benefits for anyone looking to make a career choice for their first job or looking at embracing training/learning to step up in career to consider engineering and manufacturing.

The breadth of opportunities, the learning models and the different disciplines you can embrace will open up a lot of immediate and future job and career prospects.

With #ScotAppWeek20 upon us, the range of information and advice available alongside key agencies such as SDS supporting the flow of information and guidance, there is no better time to engage somewhere.

 

 

More information

Find out about Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships and look for apprenticeship vacancies at apprenticeships.scot

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