It’s no understatement to say that the last couple of months have presented some of the most difficult challenges for UK manufacturing since I started Jonathan Lee Recruitment back in 1978. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for us all to adapt to new ways of working and to find innovative solutions to keep industry moving.
I’ve always known that the UK has some of the best engineers in the world, but the way they have applied their considerable talents so quickly to support the NHS needs has been truly inspiring. We all, rightly, recognise the front line workers who are saving lives every minute of every day, and I thought it would be a good time for us to recognise and celebrate some of the manufacturing heroes who we have the pleasure of working with who have stepped in to support keeping everyone safe and healthy.
AE Aerospace had employees working 24/7 to produce more than 6,000 complex turned / milled parts for ventilators within a fortnight of receiving a drawing.
Arrowsmith Engineering responded immediately to the nationwide effort by creating a dedicated team to produce prototype and production parts for the Smiths ventilator assembly line.
BAE Systems is supporting the national ventilator efforts, and is also 3D printing parts for a newly designed face shield.
Jaguar Land Rover has started production of approved, 3D-printed protective visors for keyworkers, with the aspiration to develop the operation for mass production.
Mondelez International has joined forces with engineering company 3P innovation to repurpose its 3D printing technology to help produce thousands of medical visors.
Nasmyth Group is manufacturing key components for ventilators, bringing together the precision engineering expertise present in all 12 of its companies.
Nissan created a parts processing line in the final assembly area at its Sunderland plant to sort and pack thousands of individual visor parts for shipping direct to the NHS.
It’s impossible to mention every manufacturer who is contributing to the national effort but if you want to learn more, The Manufacturer has put together a list which makes interesting reading and there’s also information available on the Ventilator Challenge UK website.
RECOGNISING INDUSTRY BODIES
Supporting industry has been one of the cornerstones on which our business is built, and we are very proud of our industry partnerships. I’d like to give special recognition to our partners including Make UK, the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) and Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA) who have gone the extra mile to ensure their members are supported through webinars and online resource centres to lobbying Government for fair treatment for workers.
PLANNING FOR RECOVERY
This is a time of change and many businesses will come out of the crisis with a new set of needs such as respecting social distancing in the workplace, evolving IT infrastructures to support blended working models and analysing the workforce to identify the skills needed for the future. As we all start to plan for recovery, and as we have been for more than 40 years, we are here to help and support you.
If you need some advice or input on any people related challenges, get in touch with me or one of the team.