BBC special report on manufacturing vacancies
On Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th January Focus SB was featured by BBC South East and BBC Radio Sussex in a special report exploring the issues surrounding the struggle for manufacturers to attract factory workers in the region.
In the 4th quarter of 2023, data provided by The Manufacturer’s Organisation Make UK, of which we are a member, showed 77% of manufacturers attempted to recruit new skilled staff and around seven in 10 were unsuccessful in filling all vacancies.
Presented by news presenter Chrissie Reidy on BBC South East Today, the TV report on Monday 29th January at 6.30pm featured BBC news broadcast journalist Victoria Bourne interviewing our Assembly and Warehouse Manager, Mrs Val Chandler, and Insider Made in the South East Awards 2023 ‘Apprentice of the Year’ winner Anni Sanders, Warehouse Operative, along with Marshall Tufflex Operations Director, Jean Carlos Dias, fellow company member of 1066 Manufacturers Group.
The report included expert industry comment on unfilled vacancies in manufacturing by Make UK Senior Policy Manager Jamie Cater who said: "We know that unfilled vacancies in UK manufacturing are costing the UK as a whole around £6.5bn per year in lost output. There is an urgency in getting young people into the sector."
The TV report was then broadcast again on Tuesday 30th January by Danny Pike on BBC Radio Sussex, followed by a live phone interview with our HR & Customer Aftercare Manager, Mrs Jo Cloute, who is also a volunteer Enterprise Adviser. The interview explored avenues to a career in manufacturing such as apprenticeships, opportunities for older members of the unemployed work force, misconceptions about careers in modern manufacturing and barriers such as lack of good public transport.
Following the broadcasts, Mr Gary Stevens, our MD, commented: “Fortunately we decided to make a real push to implement a strategy to bring in apprentices and graduates and trainees 6 years ago and we are seeing the fruits of our efforts now, but we do not rest on our laurels, Mrs Jo Cloute is an Enterprise Adviser and works closely with local schools, colleges and universities to encourage more young people into Focus SB."