Skills key to future prosperity

Nano Electronic Services’ director, Steve Drew

Nano Electronic Services’ director, Steve Drew, encourages industry, academia and government to invest in the next generation of skilled designers and technicians


Everyone seems busy, which is great news. Despite component shortages, design and manufacturing activities remain high. Even with the extra design work being done to overcome supply issues, the UK appears to be driving forwards with design activity. New companies are springing up and I see this continuing through 2023 and beyond. We are seeing some easing of shortages in some areas though automotive related components, processors and FPGAs are still problematic. I believe this will get better as we head into 2024.


One big issue for years to come is the general shortage of skilled labour, at design engineering and technician levels. Who is going to design and build future products if we don’t generate nearly enough engineers? This isn’t just a UK problem, it’s worldwide.


Government has consistently failed to invest in the UK’s manufacturing sector which is going to hurt us soon if it’s not already. Academia is doing its best but we just aren’t creating the courses and enthusiasm to fully encourage future engineers and skilled workers in this sector. Some organisations are trying things but I really think we need a conversation. Until we get a dedicated department and minister for UK manufacturing, we will soon have a skills crisis on our hands.