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Manufacturing Talent Rules summit, Northern Ireland, vows to tackle Manufacturing skill gap 

Manufacturing is one of the most job productive sectors in Northern Ireland.  This sector creates a massive number of jobs for the skilled and semi-skilled workforce but despite being a lucrative sector, the manufacturing units are facing challenges in recruiting the right talent on board.

The reasons are numerous behind this lack of talent in Northern Ireland, and one of them is the idea of working in the manufacturing sector is having low pay and longer working hours. Though this picture has been changed, still people are not interested in working in the manufacturing industry. The issue of lack of talent in the manufacturing sector of Northern Ireland was raised during the Manufacturing Talent Rules Summit.

More than 150 people attended the summit as a representative of their manufacturing unit in Northern Ireland, and big and small both types of units are facing this issue of lack of talent in the area. The summit has some really big names from the manufacturing industry of Northern Ireland including Denroy Plastics, Ryobi, Moyola Precision Engineering, Bombardier and other.

In the summit operations director for the engineering and physical sciences faculty, Claire McAlinden shared his views on this issue of lack of talent. He said, “We see our goal as helping our manufacturing sector become a world leader by supplying top-class graduate talent, providing cutting-edge research and innovation and working with the sector to ensure it is one of the most highly regarded in the world.”

“That future revolves around talent, and we will continue to work in close partnership with industry to maintain the flow of graduates equipped with the right type of skills to meet demand. We will also continue to support the sector by helping upskill those in work to make sure the sector’s investment in talent is as effective as possible,” he added further.

Like Claire McAlinden few other speakers also share their worries about lack of talent in the summit. Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, said: “Our focus is creating an advanced manufacturing ecosystem for Mid and East Antrim and Northern Ireland and I am committed to doing everything I can to bring Northern Ireland to new industry standards when it comes to our manufacturing sector.”

Head of corporate and business banking at First Trust Bank, which sponsored the summit, Brian Gillan also shared his views by saying that Manufacturing companies play a vital role within the Northern Ireland economy and we are investing in the sector over the longer term, including opening a £500m lending fund.