As part of the third day of the Made Futures Virtual Careers Fair, Made in Group sat down with 5 industry experts from the East Midlands region, to discuss employability, provide an insight into the skills industry is looking for, and ultimately highlight practical ways of breaking into or developing 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.
James Perry of Gardner Aerospace, Philip Jepson of EGL Vaughan, Marie Palmer of Cast Iron Welding Services, Craig De-Lara of QTS Ltd and Charles Boneham of Boneham & Turner were selected as the East Midlands 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 asked the question of “how can people break into this industry?”.
Philip Jepson emphasised that essentially all companies are “looking for talent” in their own way and there is great opportunities available if you’re willing to take the initiative and put yourself out there.
Later on, Philip suggested that as a potential employee it’s important to take the time time tell a business precisely why you want to work in that particular sector, for that particular company. Ultimately, it is important to ensure to not come across as though you’re just “throwing your CV out there” and “seeing what sticks”.
Marie Palmer highlighted the need to adapt quickly to change to be successful within the manufacturing industry. Marie also shared that she had previously had experience in the law sector, but used transferable skills (i.e. attention to detail) to forge out a successful career within the manufacturing and engineering industry.
For Charles Boneham, there are a number of ways you can demonstrate what’s needed to be a good employee - specific skills, a wealth of experience, etc. - but ultimately it is key as a potential employee to show a real interest and passion for engineering as a whole.
In terms of the job seeking process, Craig De-Lara offered the advice of not just simply scrolling through jobs boards, but instead actively looking for a company with aligns with what you want from an employer, then being proactive. “Knock on the door”, sell yourself to that company - not just your current self, suggests Craig - but your “future self” in terms of willingness to learn and progress.
Offering some practical advice for those looking for work, James Perry underlined the importance of crafting a CV which is tailor made to that particular role and company - not just sending out the same document for different positions. James also suggested that simply having a polished LinkedIn profile can actually be key in an employers evaluation of a job applicant; “90% of the impact is in the last 10% of effort”.
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.