Northern Ireland has a world-class reputation in advanced manufacturing (AMME) and will be key to rebuilding the economy after the impact of Covid-19, delivering higher paying jobs, a highly skilled workforce and a more regionally balanced economy.
Here are some reasons why you should consider a career in Advanced Manufacturing;
- Contribution to The Northern Ireland Economy
Northern Ireland has a strong cohort of around 2,200 advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering (AMME) companies in Northern Ireland.
These companies employ over 46,000 people and are worth approximately £3.2 billion to the local economy, accounting for around 8% of our economic output. AMME was one of the biggest exporters in 2019.
- Working smarter with cutting edge technology
Jobs in advanced manufacturing are often highly skilled, well paid and responsible for cutting edge research and development.
One of the great benefits of working in the AMME industry is the fact that you are often working on real, tangible products. Manufacturing affects almost everything in our lives – just look at how the sector stepped up to the challenge during the pandemic – pivoting their operations to make sanitiser, face masks using 3D printers and ventilators.
- New job opportunities
There have been some difficult times for the manufacturing industry in recent months with redundancies announced at some companies due to the impact of Covid. However, in the face of recent disruptions, namely Brexit and Covid, many companies are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to Northern Ireland. It is estimated that the sector is expected to require at least 1,500 new workers every year, with opportunities across all skills levels and work which includes R&D, new product development and manufacturing.
Recent technical skills required by job applicants included welding; engineering drawings; Mig and Tig Welding; as well as softer skills such as teamwork/collaboration; customer service; and scheduling.
In addition, gender diversity in increasing in the sector and lots of great work has been completed by Manufacturing NI in raising the profile of women in manufacturing working closely with other bodies such as;
- Matrix (Northern Ireland’s science industry panel) and;
- WISE, a UK body committed to encouraging women and girls to take up careers in science and engineering, to develop a Northern Ireland regional hub aimed at showing girls that STEM careers are exciting, well-paid and fulfilling.
- Better places to work
Manufacturers are hugely committed and loyal to their workforce and to the communities in which they are located getting involved in sponsorship of local sports teams, participating in charity events and closer school engagement.
Increasingly manufacturers are offering more generous packages including health plans and health and wellness programmes for employees as well as offering flexible working practices.
Workers are the biggest assets in the evolving manufacturing industry and today’s employees expect contemporary work environments and to be managed differently than they were in the modern era of manufacturing that began in the 1920s. While many still have a negative perception about the industry unfortunately, the development of new technologies is at the forefront ensuring safety in the workplace, as machines are assuming some of the more dangerous tasks that have previously been executed by people.
During Covid many workplaces have put in place the most stringent health and safety measures and completed rigorous risk assessments to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
- Career Progression
Within the sector, there are plenty of options for your career path. From fabrication and welding to research and distribution, to computer software and accountancy. Leadership opportunities will always be available and in fact many of the CEOs in today’s manufacturers started their life as an apprentice and worked their way up through the organisation.
Manufacturing jobs offer a wide variety of entry level positions. Most companies offer on-site job training, which is perfect for recent graduates or those looking for a complete change from their day-to-day, so there is always room to grow and advance your career.