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  • 29 September 2023
  • Community

Unlocking potential to transform the Manufacturing Industry

This September, LIBERTY Steel UK welcomed MP Miriam Cates alongside representatives from the Manufacturers’ Organisation Make UK and LIBERTY’s educational partner, Sheffield College. They aimed to explore strategies for attracting young talent to the British manufacturing sector and reshaping their perceptions of this vital industry. LIBERTY Steel UK team shared valuable insights during this visit.

MP Miriam Cates expressed her admiration for what she witnessed at the LIBERTY training centre, stating, “I am genuinely impressed by the dedication displayed by those who are learning here, as well as the experienced engineers who invest substantial time and effort in their training.

This endeavour holds significant importance not only for the overall economy, which is in considerable need of these skills, but also for our young people. They possess a remarkable opportunity to become experts in highly sought-after skills that promise a prosperous future. LIBERTY, with its extensive history of successful training and apprenticeship programmes, embodies a strong commitment to the local community.”

Annette Hobson, the Regional Membership Manager at Make UK, emphasised the pivotal role that the industrial sector plays in the UK’s economic prosperity. She highlighted the disparity between public perception and reality, saying, “People’s perception of the manufacturing industry does not align with the truth. While 93% of the UK population recognises its significance, only 2 in 5 parents would encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing due to prevailing stereotypes and biases. We have to break down these myths. Success stories like that of LIBERTY can help with this task. The manufacturing sector is a dynamic, vital industry with immense potential. However, we need significant changes, and the keystone is an industrial strategy that needs to be developed in this country as soon as possible.”

Daniele Palacios, Vice Principal for the Sheffield College, pointed out the surging demand for engineering and manufacturing professionals. She highlighted the importance of crafting education programmes that are driven by the needs of employers rather than following a standard curriculum. She said, “Our goal is to ensure that apprenticeships are tailored to meet the specific skills required by employers. By doing so, we can ensure that apprentices graduate at the standards expected by employers, rather than just being certificate holders.”

Keeley Revill, Sector Director for Engineering at the Sheffield College also emphasised the need to alter the perception of engineering, positioning it as a cornerstone of the economy and highlighting its modern, technical, and scientific aspects. It’s essential to shed the outdated image of “dirty” industries and showcase the advancements, technology, and contributions to the contemporary economy made by the manufacturing sector.

Mick Hood, HR Director for LIBERTY Steel UK said:

“I am absolutely sure that apprenticeship programs make a big difference. They’re not just about filling job roles; they’re about making our industry better. Apprenticeships help us grow, learn, and innovate. They’re like the building blocks for a stronger manufacturing sector. And we are proud to play a key role in achieving this goal”.


LIBERTY Steel UK has a longstanding tradition of offering apprenticeship programmes for students. Over the past five years, approximately 120 apprentices have joined the company, with 22 being recruited this year alone. This presents a significant opportunity for many of them to embark on prosperous careers in the manufacturing sector, serving as examples to attract more young individuals to this industry.

apprenticeshipfutureLibertyMiriam Canes

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