As part of the final day of the Made Futures Virtual Careers Fair, Made in Group sat down with 3 industry experts from the East & North Yorkshire region, to discuss employability, provide an insight into the skills industry is looking for and highlight practical ways to break into or develop a career in manufacturing.
With there being a different event every day of the expo within various regions throughout the country, these "Meet Britain's Makers" comprises a panel of experts who will share their own career stories, tips and information on their sector, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.
Jo Young (Managing Director at Additive-X), Alan Pickering (Managing Director at Unison Ltd) and Nick Vernon (Development Manager at Portakabin) were selected as the East & North Yorkshire based industry experts for the panel. Following on from these speakers providing a short introduction into themselves and their companies, Yasmin Banner of Made in Group began to ask the panelists questions
“Communication skills” and “teamwork” were highlighted by Alan Pickering as being very important to an employer. As part of this, it was suggested that some aspects of your experience which may not seem obvious - such as extracurricular activities - can be very valuable in a CV.
Jo Young emphasised the importance of sending a Cover Letter, alongside a CV, as ultimately without any Cover Letter applicants run the very real risk of not being considered for employment at all. Nick Vernon agreed wholeheartedly with this, and went on to say that tailoring a bespoke CV to match the job advert you are applying for - rather than just send out one CV to all companies - is key here.
In terms of the skills which employers are looking for, Nick suggested that - besides the more obvious technical skills which are required - “resilience” and “not being afraid to share your views” on things can make applicants stand out in a positive light. Having this confidence to voice your opinion can be important for companies who look to their employees for suggestions on improvement and growth.
For Jo Young, whilst not a huge proportion of people already have work experience in 3D printing, applicants can really stand out by showing an enthusiasm for the sector, such as through undertaking online courses in the subject.
For Nick Vernon, apprenticeships are not what they used to be - “They have totally changed the workplace now.” Nick’s enthusiasm for the apprenticeship route shone through, highlighting the variety of opportunities available at Portakabin.
Likewise, Alan Pickering shared Nick’s enthusiasm and was quick to add that 20% of Unison’s staff are either current or previous apprentices; which epitomises how crucial this route is for the UK manufacturing industry as a whole.
Ultimately, Jo Young closed the panelist section of this event through highlight the sense of “purpose” which comes with manufacturing products; something which many speakers through the expo have agreed gives this industry a uniquely rewarding aspect.
Following on from speaking with the expert panelists, Breakout Rooms were then created through Zoom, giving the chance for employers and jobseekers alike to network.
If you missed the event or you simply want to watch back any of the content, then you can access this video on the Made in Group YouTube channel now.