Latest research figures state that 20% of the current engineering workforce is set to retire by 2026. With so many skilled manufacturing professionals set to leave the industry in the coming years, one engineering firm is issuing a call to action.
Metal Craft Industries, a leading name in stainless steel fabrication of catering equipment, trolleys, sinks, and store equipment, is urging manufacturers to harness the invaluable skills and experience of vital manufacturing workers who are on the verge of retirement before they exit the industry.
In a sector known for its intricacies and exacting standards, the expertise of veteran workers is indispensable. As the UK manufacturing landscape seeks to develop and inspire the next generation, there is a golden opportunity to tap into the knowledge that’s been honed over decades of service.
Reg Larkin, managing director of Metal Craft Industries, underscores the importance of this initiative: “The UK has always been at the forefront of manufacturing excellence, and a substantial part of that legacy is owed to the countless professionals who have dedicated their lives to perfecting their craft. These skilled artisans possess an immeasurable wealth of knowledge that we simply cannot afford to lose. By engaging them in mentorship and training programs, we can ensure that their expertise is passed on to the next generation, securing the future of our industry.”
The focus on specialism, such as stainless steel fabrication of catering equipment, trolleys, sinks, and store equipment, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. It is in these niche sectors where specialised skills are vital, and the transfer of these skills should be prioritised.
At Metal Craft Industries, the emphasis on engaging retiring professionals has yielded positive results. Their commitment to this cause has not only benefited their own operations but also contributed to the wider manufacturing community. The firm’s structured mentorship programmes have enabled them to retain and leverage the knowledge of seasoned experts, while simultaneously facilitating the development of the younger workforce.
Mr Larkin highlights how the company’s approach has been particularly successful: “Our retiring professionals are not just leaving, they are transitioning into roles as trainers, passing on their skills to the next generation. This process of knowledge transfer ensures a smooth transition and enhances our productivity. The result is a win-win situation for both our experienced workers and the fresh talent.”
The UK manufacturing sector is at a crossroads, with opportunities for innovation and growth on the horizon. However, without a concerted effort to harness the knowledge and skills of retiring workers, it could find itself at a disadvantage. The call to action is clear, Metal Craft Industries says: manufacturers should make the most of this golden opportunity to engage, train, and mentor retiring professionals to ensure the sector’s long-term sustainability.