Skills development to be key theme of MACH 2022

4 min read

​One of the major themes of MACH 2022 will be the need to concentrate on skills development within the manufacturing industry and inspiring the UK’s next generation of engineers.

MACH exhibitions have always had a strong focus on nurturing new talent and the need to get more young engineers involved in the industry has never been more important than it is now.

James Selka, CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), said: “The development of key skills to support the future of advanced manufacturing has long been a core goal of the MTA. Without a steady stream of new talent coming into the industry then there is a risk things could stagnate, setting back technological development.

“Encouraging young engineers into the manufacturing industry has sadly been a problem for some years now. Even prior to the pandemic there were concerns insufficient numbers were viewing the industry as a viable career option. With everything that has happened over the past two years, it is now more important than ever to change attitudes and emphasise the real benefits a career in manufacturing can offer.

“This is why MACH 2022 will have a strong focus on encouraging more young people into the industry, with special displays and a dedicated exhibition zone showcasing the changes that have taken place within manufacturing and highlighting what makes it one of the most exciting industries to be involved in.”

MACH 2022, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham between 4-8th April, will once again have a dedicated Education & Development (E&D) Zone, which will feature special displays from Airbus Defence & Space, University of Wolverhampton Formula 3 Race Team, Lincoln Electric Virtual Welding and the Bowers Group Mobile Metrology Centre.

Education & Development (E&D) Zone 2022

  • Airbus Defence & Space will be displaying its ExoMars Rover ground demonstration model, ‘Bruno’. Bruno is the Earth-based testing model of its counterpart the ‘Rosalind Franklin’ Rover, which will ultimately search for life on Mars. The ExoMars will be demonstrating how it can navigate the surface of Mars, while staff from Airbus will be showing how they communicate remotely with the rover and will be answering questions from young engineers keen to learn more about engineering in the Air and Space sectors.
  • The University of Wolverhampton Formula 3 Race Team is an initiative to provide students, from the University of Wolverhampton, with industry experience by working as part of a professional team in a competitive Motorsport environment. They will be displaying a selection of cars from their race team, which includes a Formula 3 Dallara F308 with a Honda Mugen engine run in the F3 Cup, two Plus 4 Clubsports run in the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge, a Formula Renault 2.0 previously run at the 2015 Monoposto 2000 Championship and their IMechE Formula Student car.
  • Lincoln Electric will be bringing several of their virtual welding machines which are successfully used in training people to weld.
  • The Bowers Group Mobile Metrology Centre is a fully equipped metrology lab on wheels, featuring a range of measuring solutions.

Students from Year 7 upwards attending the show will also be offered guided tours of the exhibition. These will be led by apprentices and graduates close to their own age and who are already working within the industry.

Exhibitors including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, Renishaw, Siemens and Yamazaki Mazak will also be showcasing the apprenticeships and graduate training schemes they have on offer and what a career in manufacturing could offer.

Official registration for schools or academies wishing to visit MACH 2022 is now open, and can be done by visiting the MACH 2022 website here

Schools that register will be contacted following registration so they can pick the days they wish to attend, get further information on what activities are on offer, and confirm which tour they would like to participate in so they can get the most out of their visit.

James Selka added: “The MTA and its members are all ambassadors for the manufacturing technologies industries and will be only too happy to pass on the benefit of their knowledge to willing new recruits. Bringing the STEM subjects to life by showing the benefits of their real-life applications is what MACH excels at.”

Even though MACH 2022 is still six months away, exhibitors and visitors can interact with the exhibition now. As part of the MTA’s commitment to improve the exhibition experience, the association has invested in a new online platform, Map Your Show planner, to help people get the most from the event.

Trialled with great success during the MACH 2022 Preview Week, the platform enables visitors to filter by product type, save favourite exhibitors, speakers and content to their personal show planner. They can even make direct contact with exhibitors ahead of the event.

No other manufacturing event can bring together so many key decision makers across a five-day period, and no other event of its kind can attract over 20,000 trade visitors with real purchasing power - all looking to meet new suppliers, find new products, network and form new business relationships.

For more details on the Education & Development Zone, how to use the new show planner or any other information regarding MACH 2022, visit www.machexhibition.com

UK Skills Statistics

  • To keep pace with demand, 203,000 people with Level 3+ engineering skills are required by the engineering sector per year by 2024.
  • Almost a fifth (19%) of the total UK workforce is employed in the engineering sector
  • 29% of A-Level entries for girls are in STEM subjects, compared with 47% for boys
  • In 2017-18, just 7% of engineering-related apprenticeship achievements in England were completed by women, whilst in Scotland, the figure was just 3%
  • In the UK, just 9% of those working in engineering are BAME, compared to 12% for the rest of the workforce
  • The manufacturing sector accounts for 44% of the turnover generated by engineering enterprises in the UK
  • Almost half (47%) of the UK workforce are women, yet they comprise just 12% of the engineering sector.