Celebrating the signs of UK manufacturing recovery

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Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise.

The latest UK manufacturing statistics suggest that the foundations for a successful 2014 are underway with manufacturing output rising by 1.1 per cent, following an initial increase of 0.7 per cent in February. 

Guest post by Graham Earl, Exhibition Manager, Reed Exhibitions

The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), revealed that UK production is increasing while demand for UK equipment overseas is also on the rise. This is especially good news for the manufacturing industries, which represent a significant 7 per cent of the UK’s economy.

For many manufacturers, this represents a period of back-to-back growth for the first time in two years and while it is clear that the economy is far from out of the woods, there is plenty of evidence to suggest the sector is certainly moving in the right direction.

This, however, doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on our laurels – initial signs of improvement doesn’t guarantee a full recovery, but it should give us that extra bit of drive needed to turn the industry around. We can return to a booming UK industry, we just need to learn how.

Building on our talent and experience

The UK has never historically lacked talent – in fact, we’re lucky to have some of the best engineering talent in the world. However, over the years the number of young people entering the industry has dramatically declined.

It is crucial for the future of the industry that we encourage and provide a vehicle for the engineers of the future to reach their true potential. We need to reveal the opportunities available for young people that the industry has to offer.

One way to achieve this is by driving vocational qualifications and opportunities for vocational training. By offering young people the chance to gain practical experience in a real-life manufacturing or engineering environments, we can provide real-life, applicable skills that will help them succeed. However, we also need to make training in engineering and manufacturing courses more attractive to young people. We know the opportunities that are out there and that the UK does have a bright future but to ensure it remains sustainable and builds on these initial signs of success, we need to continue building on the existing skilled workforce.

Network, network, network – and discover innovation along the way

The Total Processing and Packaging Exhibition 2013 is shaping up to be a great opportunity for young engineers to see what the industry has to offer. With over 400 exhibitors, it is the ideal place to source the latest solutions and innovations whilst learning about future trends from industry experts.

This year, the show will focus on competitiveness, consistency and quality, while the seminar programme will put innovation, excellence and sustainability under the spotlight with speakers from organisations including Marks & Spencer, Diary Crest and B&Q.

We know that the future of the industry relies on the next generation of engineers and we’re working to support and ensure they have the training, support and skills to achieve this. We’ll be highlighting the successes of  students working with the Packaging Society who will graduate live at the show on Tuesday 4th June. We’ll also be revisiting our Ones to Watch awards, which acknowledges young professionals under the age of 35 and we’ll be welcoming back the Packaging Design Challenge, which for the first time will offer the chance to secure a financial investment in a new packaging concept – live at the show.

With so many great opportunities open to young engineers, we hope that exhibitors at this year’s total can celebrate these signs of recovery, but continue to drive demand and build on what was once the UK’s strongest industry.


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Omron Europe

Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise. From its European headquarters in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, she operates locally in every European country and is dedicated to providing unrivaled automation products and customized expert solutions for any industry.

The product portfolio includes state of the art Factory Automation services & Know-How, Sensors and Safety, Mechatronics and Drives, Industrial Components and Vision Systems.