The Made in Group, comprised of Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire is launching a new initiative to make the engineering and manufacturing sector more inclusive, diverse and ultimately more competitive, backed by Baroness Lorely Burt.

The West Midlands, a centre for traditional engineering and manufacturing industries, has the worst female employment rate of the six combined local authorities according to the Office for National Statistics. Within the wider UK manufacturing and engineering sector, there are also concerns regarding an ageing workforce, an under representation of workers from a variety of ethnicities and complaints of an insufficient number of skilled people. The availability of a strong talent pool is crucial to enable employers to improve their productivity and grow more quickly.

In an effort to begin to reverse this trend and raise awareness of the benefits of having a diverse workforce, Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire are launching our ‘Inclusivity Campaign’, asking employers to pledge their commitment to adopting and continually improving as they work to the following guiding principles:

  • Awareness: Cross company education top down, to better understand and demonstrate appreciation of the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring to business
  • Best Practice Recruitment: Engage and attract new people from underrepresented groups
  • Staff Development: Training/promotion policies that offer equal opportunities for career progression
  • Staff Engagement: Maintain an inclusive culture where all staff engage with developing, delivering, monitoring and assessing the diversity and inclusivity policies

Baroness Burt comments: “Some companies take great strides — no pun intended — to ensure that each member of their workforce is valued and treated equally, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, cultural background and other elements of diversity which can enable better decision-making and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.

“As Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Equalities, I applaud the work of organisations like the Made in Group, which is creating an Inclusivity Campaign to encourage manufacturing and engineering companies to make the most of diversity in their workforce. There is significant competitive advantage to be gained by a company recruiting from a diverse talent pool and also offering the same routes for progression once in post to all employers. We believe that by raising awareness of this and better equipping employers to implement this approach, we can make strides in reversing the skills shortage within UK industry”.