Made in Group, the manufacturing and engineering membership body that includes Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire, is launching a campaign to encourage greater inclusivity in British manufacturing. It is backed by Baroness Lorely Burt, Parliamentary Spokesperson and Shadow Minister for Business and for Women and it will have its official launch on the 22nd of January at Manor Grove in Handsworth, Birmingham.
The Office for National Statistics has informed the public that women make up just 9% of Britain’s engineering workforce even though 20% of all engineering graduates are females. The ageing workforce, an under representation of employees from ethnic minorities and complaints of an insufficient number of skilled employees also raises concerns for the sector.
In fact, research shows that a balanced workforce is more productive and 80% of employees perceive they work in a high-performing organisation if this one is committed to inclusion and diversity.
“Recruiting from a diverse talent pool leads to greater productivity, staff loyalty and retention, better decision-making and, ultimately, a healthier bottom line,” explained Baroness Burt.
The inclusivity campaign aims to equip employers with the knowledge and tools to improve the aspect mentioned above. The first step is an initial assessment and benchmarking followed by a feedback on areas they can improve. There will also be workshops designed to raise awareness on inclusivity and mental health issues.
The scheme will change the focus of the staff developments programs to ensure the workplace offers equal opportunities for career progression regardless of an employee’s age, gender, race, or sexuality. After six months of the initial assessment, companies will be asked to retake the questionnaire to review progress. If they are successful, they will receive a qualifying Inclusivity kite mark.
This change in the industry can also benefit the UK: “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 in Midlands and the wider UK industry,” said the Baroness Burt.