The UK is one of the world leaders in Manufacturing & Production, with a long-standing edge in innovation, design and product breakthrough. The UK produces some of the finest product models, manufacturing techniques and quality goods for export all over the world. The sector offers many exciting opportunities for candidates to pursue careers in a variety of fields.
In Manufacturing & Production, graduates have the opportunity to bring new innovation and fresh thinking to help improve design and drive the industry forwards. In the modern global economy, much of the physical manufacturing and production happens overseas, while the design and conceptual work remains in the UK. This is where graduates can really make a difference, and the sector draws from a variety of disciplines such as design and science.
There are many routes for graduates in this sector. Some of the large international firms operate extensive graduate schemes which give graduates the opportunity to build upon what they have learned at university. Some of these companies also operate internships and vacation schemes for students out of term time. These programmes are excellent means for candidates to gain a taste of the industry and show employers that they are enthusiastic about the work.
How to Get a Job in Manufacturing & Production
Manufacturing & Production is a varied sector, with many options for graduates to pursue.
Some of the attributes candidates should display are:
1. Relevant degree
Roles in this sector require a solid background in the particular trade, such as a degree in Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Chemistry. Candidates should think about how their degree might apply to the specific position for which they are applying. For example, a Physics graduate applying in Manufacturing at British Airways or Airbus would want to emphasize their understanding of aerodynamics. Graduates will generally not be considered for graduate schemes or employment without the right set of qualifications.
2. Research skills
Manufacturing & Production is process-driven. Research and Development plays a big role in developing ideas into substantial products. R&D requires candidates to display a creative edge and an ability to grasp conceptual ideas. Graduates should think of examples from their studies when they had to apply their conceptual knowledge to practical ideas and real-life situations.
3. Problem solving skills
R&D also requires excellent problem-solving skills in order to come up with innovative solutions to setbacks. Graduates should provide examples of when they have found a solution to a problem by using lateral thinking to see the bigger picture, or when they have foreseen a larger problem and taken small steps to prevent it. Employers will want to see that a candidate exhibits the right kind of thinking for the role.
4. Design skills
The Design part of Manufacturing & Production requires candidates to be able to take many different elements into consideration when developing a product. Depending on the field, these elements could include wind resistance, durability, or style. Graduates should make sure they have an in-depth understanding of the materials and environment in use, as well as the product's potential commercial future.
5. Team working, time management and organisational skills
Roles in this sector often involve being part of a large team working towards a common goal, and candidates may even find themselves responsible for leading a group. Team working skills such as cooperation, diplomacy and compromise are important, as are planning, management and organisational skills. Graduates should think of examples of when they have led a team, either in a student society or on a group project as part of their degree.