Subcon 2016 is only a few weeks away now and with that in mind the organisers have asked some of their speakers their views and opinions on some key areas of manufacturing.
Not surprisingly, when asked about the biggest challenge facing the industry this year, 4 of the 7 said that they saw political and economic uncertainty as a major challenge in the coming months. The debate about staying or leaving the EU means that people are reconsidering longer term commitments and may even be delaying projects as they are unsure as to how they will be affected. Things will be clearer after the referendum in June, but there still may be longer term issues to consider depending on the outcome. It would be prudent for any business to consider the impact on them should the result be that the UK exits the EU. Of course it will take time for any exit policies and agreements to be put into place, but there’s likely to be some sort of immediate impact on existing contracts and projects. Should the vote be to stay in, then of course, things will settle back down, but it still may take a little time for that uncertainty to settle completely.
Women in engineering, or rather the lack of them, is a topic that’s been in the headlines for many years now, we’ve even written about it ourselves. Changing perceptions plays a key part in getting girls to see engineering as a career for them. Historically schools careers advice would push engineering as a career for men and whilst things have changed, they still have some way to go. Showing the vast spectrum of careers available under the term engineering is still something that schools do not really achieve. Put the term ‘engineering’ into the search box of any online image provider and you will mostly get the stereotypical image of men with hard hats, overalls and high vis jackets. Of course, hard hats, and high vis will be required in some areas of engineering, but engineering as a whole is so much more – the opportunities are vast. Things like the WISE campaign are working hard to change those perceptions.
Subcon asked, “If you were in charge of the UK, what would you do to encourage more women to work in the engineering and manufacturing industries?”
Chris Mchugh of NW Texnet had this to say “Portray this as a more technical environment requiring intellect and multiple skills capability. The Aerospace sector appears to be leading the way on this. Engineering is a rather holistic term, but within Engineering there is Project management, Research and Innovation, Materials science, to name but a few areas.”
Education seems to also be top of the list here with others agreeing that more needs to be done to fund sustained campaigns to educate schools and pupils about the opportunities available.
Opportunities and innovation were also topics on the Q&A, with additive manufacturing and supply chain expansion being areas seen with good opportunity for growth.
Additive manufacturing got a further mention alongside technology and communications when discussing top innovations with a big impact in the industry.
PRV Engineering will be exhibiting at Subcon 2016 on stand C61
PRV Engineering Ltd offer a true One Stop Shop solution to your problems with disciplines such as CNC machining, Fabrication, Sheet Metal Work, Deep Hole Drilling, Presswork, Wet Spray Painting, Powder Coating, Electroplating, Specialist Resin Coatings, Structural and Architectural Steelwork, Site Installation and Maintenance all qualified to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN 1090-EX3. We are also CIPS registered and Rated, and are part of the SC21 Supply Chain Program.