As uncertainty regarding Brexit and any related tariffs continues to rage, some manufacturers have highlighted large increases in orders as needs to source products and/or goods that would have originally been manufactured within the EU ahead of the new January deadline also continue to grow.
With this comes the requirement for higher numbers of people and skills – something the North has historically always been in a position to support. Doncaster and the surrounding areas in particular are key manufacturing and distribution hubs for UK industry, with Acorn among the recruiters based regionally now aligning in order to meet demand.
Here, Commercial Manager Jonathan Lord talks about how the wider and ongoing ramifications of Brexit continue to impact the manufacturing industry local to Acorn’s Yorkshire hub specifically.
Brexit has brought with it so many uncertainties both politically and economically and we are still in a position where no-one really knows what the outcome will be. But, as more and more products are being manufactured within the EU before the Brexit axe falls, so too is the greater need for staff to cope with the extra demands.
This has resulted in a huge commitment to hiring across south Yorkshire, particularly over the summer months, in the world of manufacturing with vacancies filled from structural engineers, electrical maintenance engineers, production operatives, maintenance managers and building service managers.
This healthy recruitment market means that businesses locally will likely have the skilled and experienced workforce they need to take manufacturing through the tricky Brexit process towards the end of this year and into the first quarter of 2020.
It’s crucial at the same time that recruitment agencies understand the manufacturing supply chain so they can continue helping to put the right people in place through temporary and permanent recruitment markets to ensure all required processes continue to happen along the way.
So, what will the manufacturing industry look like post-Brexit and how might manufacturing businesses prepare for these changes?
One of the main issues of Brexit for manufacturing and businesses as a whole is the lack of information on what precisely will happen. Normally businesses are in a position to plan for change. They can base plans on hard facts and information but Brexit is totally different. Instead, it’s about thinking hypothetically and knowing that whatever the future scenario, you’re prepared with the right tools and insights to make the most of a new era. It’s about having visionary leadership and playing to a company’s strengths.
An immediate priority for manufacturers is to understand how various Brexit scenarios could affect supply chains and the movement of goods, therefore. Thinking about compliance, tariff charges, whether any EU research or grants will be cut, and understanding how delays may affect a business will likely prove key in the coming months.
A post-Brexit world is also one where technology certainly needs to be fully embraced. It offers fantastic opportunities and benefits when it comes to productivity and efficiency, but this brings with it a need to recruit and retain the right staff to drive technological success too.
It’s obviously possible restriction of free movement across the EU may also cause problems when it comes to recruiting for traditional factory and supply chain processes, so it might also be time to audit the current workforce.
Looking at ways to maximise the return on investment from existing employers and contractors, and reviewing and evaluating a long-term strategy for recruitment and retention when the Brexit picture becomes clearer, could mean all the difference to manufacturing companies both here in Yorkshire and further afield too when the time comes.