How an ageing work force is affecting the manufacturing industry

As they always have been, people remain at the heart of the manufacturing industry.

So of course, the key to success for businesses in the industry is being able to provide their people with the appropriate training, whilst looking to the future and planning ahead. One of the most significant developments to manufacturing in recent years is the changing age profile of its workforce.

A high proportion of workers are now aged 50 and above, presenting a new challenge for manufacturers and one they need to respond to quickly. Whilst the experience and knowledge of these workers is incredibly important to future success, their expertise needs to be harnessed and utilised to re-train their future workforce.

Organisations should be looking for ways to make the workplace attractive for the younger generation, whilst feasible for older workers. For some it may require a completely new way of working but acting now means there will be time for the new to learn from the experienced.

So what can manufacturers do?

  • Creating a modern workplace. Studies have shown that Millennials and Generation Z are looking for much more from their place of work. For example, what does your culture look like?
  • Invest in training. Utilise the existing expertise you have to ensure skills are passed down through the generations.
  • Look at a new work environment that also requires soft skills, such as inter-personal and teamworking, to leverage the power of diversity and unlock innovation.

To discover more about the challenges and opportunities face by the manufacturing industry post-lockdown, download our Putting the GREAT Back in Great British Manufacturing whitepaper via this link

The whitepaper is written by gunnercooke Operating Partner’s Operational Excellence team, comprising experts in the manufacturing industry, Ian Turmeau, Rory Masureik, Gordon McKechnie and Shaun Hughes.

Contributing Advisors