Manufacturing the Future Workforce

This report publishes the findings of an international study demonstrating the benefit of “ensuring that we have the skills to take advantage of new technologies”. To do this, an approach would be needed to pre-empt and avoid a national workforce capability shortfall, driven by critical innovation.

Posted on: 02/10/2023

Workforce Foresighting

The Manufacturing the Future Workforce report recommended a solution referred to as the ‘Skills Value Chain’. The first step to the ‘Skills Value Chain’ is to ‘Foresight future workforce capability’. The Workforce Foresighting programme of activity, developed and funded by Innovate UK, will address this first step.

Understanding the skills that are required in line with technology innovation; working in parallel with technologists (domain specialists), educators, and the wider industry to ensure the right skills, at the right time, in the right place. The programme’s aim is to develop and standardise the process for conducting foresighting.

Manufacturing the Future Workforce Report

Manufacturing the Future Workforce Report

This report has been published to present the findings and recommendations of an international study into workforce development and its link to innovation, led by the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult with funding and support from the Gatsby Foundation.

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Background to the report

The study included partners from Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), TWI, National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and participation from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE).

This document is complete in its own right and has a considerable amount of associated further information provided in visit reports and their references with most made available for download. Observations of good practice captured during 39 study visits are summarised, contextualised and then developed into recommendations for action to be taken forward by Centres of Innovation (such as HVM Catapult) and their partners. HVM Catapult were assisted by IfM to develop a study approach that would relate to their prior work on innovation systems and increasing research interests in workforce development.

The report has been prepared by Ian Collier and Paul Shakspeare for HVM Catapult, with valuable guidance and input from Daniel Sandford Smith of the Gatsby Foundation and significant assistance from Dr Chris Beck of TWI. Publication date: January 2020.

Related programme

Workforce Foresighting

Workforce Foresighting

How do we build a skilled workforce for tomorrow’s industries? The Workforce Foresighting Hub has developed a structured process, aligned with national policy, to help deliver a workforce to exploit innovative technologies in the UK. We’re supporting industry, policymakers and educators to adapt to continuing change.


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