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2nd Dec 2021 - UK Metals Council joins the National Manufacturing Skills Task Force

The purpose of the National Manufacturing Skills Task Force is to serve as a catalyst for Manufacturing – bringing strategic leadership, critical mass and a strong, unified voice to address shared skills challenges. The principal aim of the task force is to work to ensure that UK Manufacturing retains and attracts the skills and talent it needs now and into the future.

By developing clear proposals for intervention, this unique forum seeks to work in partnership with Government and others, to facilitate practical actions and solutions to address skills priorities.

The UK is the world’s nineth leading manufacturing economy delivering £191 billion of outputs in 2020/21 and representing 53% of the UK’s total exports.  The sector employs 2.7 million people with salaries on average 13% higher than the rest of the economy.  Manufacturing contributes 65% of R&D and 16% of business investment in the UK so it is a vital part of the UK economy and sovereign capability.

Kelle Green, Partnership Manager, co ordinating the Task Force explained, “The skills gap has been a major issue affecting industry for a number of years. Through this taskforce we have aligned organisations from the breadth of Manufacturing to identify common challenges and develop solutions.
“From attracting the next generation and upskilling the current workforce; through to meeting the demands of Industry 4.0 and shifting to more sustainable working, this group provides a valuable focus on skills - something that is fundamental to the success of future industry.”  

The taskforce is made up of a wide range of organisations including:

·        ADS Group

·        British Ceramic Confederation

·        British Plastics Federation

·        Chemical Industries Association

·        Cogent Skills

·        CSEU (The Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions) Construction Equipment Association

·        Engineering and Machinery Alliance

·        Enginuity

·        Food & Drink Federation

·        High Value Manufacturing Catapult

·        Make UK

·        Make UK Defence

·        National Skills Academy: Food & Drink

·        SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders)

·        TUC (Trade Union Congress)

·        UK Metals Council

·        UK Steel

·        Chairs of Auto, Aerospace and Defence Skills Working Groups

In welcoming the initiative, Chris McDonald, UKMC Chair and CEO of the Materials Processing Institute said, “The metals sector in the UK is very diverse, ranging from large multinationals producing primary raw materials, to SMEs located all around the UK.  We are seeing a growing requirement for sophisticated skills as the metal sector increases its contribution to the circular economy, develops new environmentally acceptable production techniques and embraces new digital opportunities.

“We recognise that the taskforce can provide the coordinated approach necessary to address the critical skills issues necessary for modern manufacturing. By working together resources, ideas and best practice can be shared ensuring that the weight of the entire sector is behind practical solutions to address common skills priorities. Sixteen organisations focused on tackling a common skills issue is far more effective than a single organisation going it alone.”





·       The UK Metals Council comprises 11 UK Trade Associations from the metals sector.

·       The sector comprises 11,100 companies.

·       The sector has a £33 billion annual turnover.

·       There are 230,000 direct employees and 750,000 jobs supported by the sector.

·       Contributes £200 billions of UK GDP


Key strategic objectives of the Metals Council


·       Developing supply chains

·       Encouraging innovation

·       Developing skills

·       Circular economy and sustainability

·       Improved representation of the sector ensuring a level playing field