West Yorkshire Industry Experts Discuss Careers & Skills Advice

West Yorkshire Industry Experts Discuss Careers & Skills Advice

West Yorkshire Industry Experts Discuss Careers & Skills Advice



As part of the Made Futures Virtual Careers Fair, Made in Group sat down with 4 industry experts from the West Yorkshire region, to discuss employability, provide an insight into the skills which Midlands industry is looking for and highlight practical ways of to break 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.

Glenn Rika Rayne of BAR Products & Services, Stephen Crow of Clarion, Pam Jackson of Siddall & Hilton and Bill Buhler of Rheintacho UK were selected as the West 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 asked the panelists questions. To begin, Yasmin asked “what skills are the industry looking for?”.

As a precision engineering company, Glenn highlighted that at BAR Products and Services  he would look for potential employees who possess enthusiasm, drive and a willingness to learn. 

Offering a tip for interview candidates, Glenn also suggests that one of the best ways to "stand out from the crowd" is if a candidate can take the initiative to tell the interviewer something about that company (e.g. something they've learned from the website), then this can be extremely powerful for standing out in a positive way.

For Bill of Rheintacho UK, the most important thing is that he understands exactly what kind of "added value" a potential employee can bring to the organisation. Adding to this, it is a prerequisite for someone joining Rheintacho UK's relatively small team of 10 people is able to show that they can truly be a "team player".

Bringing an area of expertise from a slightly different perspective - due to being part of a legal company instead of being a manufacturer - Stephen Crow of Clarion emphasised that they look for someone who can truly demonstrate that they have taken time out to research the employer. For example, simply being able to mention a recent company news article - either in a cover letter or during an interview - goes a long way in making that potential employee stand out.

Stephen went out to emphasise that it's vital in his opinion to recruit employees who fit in well with the "culture that the company has recruited", in opposed to undermining this. Therefore, as a potential employee, it could be vital to learn exactly what that company’s culture is through research, before going into an interview or writing a cover letter.

Pam Jackson from Siddall & Hilton highlighted that a lot of their senior positions are filled by those who have come into the company in more junior roles and have worked their way up. Therefore, as a company like Siddall & Hilton who are always looking for potential "managers of the future" when recruiting, it is vital for their candidates to demonstrate adaptability and a variety of skills.

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. The employers are given roughly 2 minutes to talk about their business, direct attendees to visit their expo stand etc. Then jobseekers, students and any other attendees get 60 seconds to tell the room about themselves and network.