Workforce learning group warns of ‘significant’ manufacturing industry skills shortages
15 January 2019
The national agency dedicated to workforce learning has warned Ireland is facing ‘significant’ skills shortages in the manufacturing sector. Despite manufacturing being the second largest employer in Ireland (with 205,700 people directly working in the industry) Skillnet Networks say notable talent gaps remain in:
- Polymer processing
- Polymer science
The group are also advising business owners to brace themselves for one of the most challenging years yet as the Brexit deadline approaches.
The warnings come ahead of this year’s National Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition, which takes place at the Citywest Convention Centre on January 17.
More than 4,000 key decision makers, 150 speakers, 300 exhibitors and 100 investors are expected to turnout to the conference and exhibition which highlights the latest developments in manufacturing technology and practise.
Speaking about the challenges posed by these skills shortages, Olivia Caslin, communications and marketing manager at Skillnet Ireland, said: ‘The numbers of available specialised talent has become a problem for companies nationwide. The skillsets we currently find in short supply are generally around the technical areas of manufacturing and production.
“These experienced skill sets in Engineering, Polymer Processing and Polymer Science, Automation and Controls are now highly prized. The lack of specific engineering skills is forcing companies to look outside the country to fill vital roles in manufacturing and production environments.
“Securing reasonable levels of inward migration to match emerging skill shortages is now a significant challenge for employers.’
The group have also warned Brexit will highlight skills gaps and is urging businesses to make plans ahead of a deal or no deal scenario.
Caslin added: “Along with the complex operational considerations, it is certain that new skills will be needed so that firms can adapt and thrive as these challenges materialise. Brexit presents a different set of challenges.
“It is likely that every business in Ireland will be impacted by Brexit in some way or other, particularly under the scenario of a ‘hard Brexit’. For now, the single greatest challenge for business owners is making sound Brexit- proofing decisions in the context of ever-changing events, as the politics of Brexit play out in London and Brussels.”
The National Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition 2019
The National Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition will ensure delegates gain key industry insights to help their business plan ahead, share good practice and learn from each other’s experience.
It will also enable attendees to connect with senior business leaders to uncover new business opportunities and meet with leading technology providers.
A host of International companies are taking part in this year’s event including Johnson & Johnson, Glanbia, Dawn Meats and Glaxosmithkline among others.
Speakers for this year include:
- Simon McKeever, The irish Exporter’s Association
- Federico Fabbrini, DCU Brexit Institute Director
- Brian Cooney, Kuka Robotics
- Caroline McGillard, Macfarlane Packaging
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