With a recent report further underlining skills shortage issues faced by the UK manufacturing sector, a utilities equipment supplier is calling upon industry professionals to re-evaluate their current approaches to temperature control.
According to findings from the Q4 Manufacturing Outlook published by Make UK and advisory firm BDO, UK manufacturers have seen their outputs surge three times fast than orders.
Yet despite rising business confidence, the report’s stakeholders have highlighted that its employment data indicates skills shortages are now structural and systemic within the sector.
Taking this into account, Ruth Martin, Manufacturing Sector Manager for Aggreko UK and Ireland, is advocating for a shift in the industry’s approach to procuring power and temperature control to best navigate this critical issue.
Specifically, Ruth is encouraging the sector to explore leveraging third-party expertise to address key challenges, including those around temperature control, to circumvent skills shortage concerns.
“In the manufacturing environment, being able to source and operate temperature control equipment is vital to product yields and outputs,” she explains. “Yet ensuring operational processes are carried out as effectively as possible requires personnel with specialist skillsets.
“As this latest BDO-Make UK report makes clear, this is easier said than done, and will require long-term governmental intervention if skills shortage issues are to be remedied. However, industry does not stand still, and solutions must be found for the here and now. Engaging third-party suppliers on a continuous basis can help address these knowledge gaps and allow manufacturers to capitalise on growing sector confidence.”
With the UK manufacturing sector demand remaining in flux and weather patterns becoming increasingly volatile, Ruth is also highlighting the potential role of equipment hire strategies in addressing these challenges.
Specifically, she is underlining the added dynamism and adaptability made possible by securing chilling and heating equipment on a modular, temporary basis as demand rises and falls.
“Manufacturing is a fast-moving sector and many variables simply cannot be predicted beyond the short term,” Ruth concludes. “Given the pressures the industry is facing, from varying sector confidence to increasingly extreme weather, it is logical to add greater flexibility to ensure efficient equipment performance while minimising the risk of under- or over-specification.
“Consequently, it is recommended that manufacturers engage with temperature control solution suppliers to best safeguard future operations. Given the skills shortages affecting the industry, establishing ongoing partnerships and using the expertise of these organisations may also provide businesses with resilience as 2024 progresses.”