Manufacturing jobs growth raises skills scare

JobCentrePlus300New official labour market data published today suggests that 2013 will see a third consecutive year of jobs growth in the UK’s manufacturing industry for the first time in 16 years.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a further quarterly increase in manufacturing employment, prompting EEF chief economist Lee Hopley to warn that the increases in employment availability might prove to be a double edged sword.

“The increase in manufacturing employment in the third quarter is consistent with the upbeat picture we’ve seen in several surveys and we are on track for a third consecutive year of increased jobs in manufacturing for the first time since 1997/98,” she said.

“However, if job creation continues to be a pattern across the industry, more companies will face problems hiring the skilled people they need across a range of occupations.”

In 2010, UK manufacturing employment stood at 2.562 million. During 2011 the number grew by a modest 0.2% to 2.564m and by the end of 2012 the number employed in the sector was a further 1.2% up at 2.596m.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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