KEY RECOMMENDATION 1

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Cultivate a Positive Perception of Manufacturing

Cultivate a Positive Perception of Manufacturing

As manufacturing becomes a highly digitised and technical sector, industry no longer contains the dirty and laborious jobs often associated with the past. Instead, a manufacturing career provides a highly advanced and rewarding work environment that can lead to a fulfilling and fruitful life. As a result, public and private stakeholders must work to help cultivate a positive perception of manufacturing in order to attract more talent to enrol in manufacturing education programs and maintain a life-long manufacturing career. Creating a strong and stable reputation of manufacturing is the basis for establishing the future-oriented development considering the global prosperity and well-being.

First, information regarding manufacturing must be readily available within society. Awareness of manufacturing and societal megatrends will help the general public gain a better understanding of the current state of manufacturing and how manufacturing jobs are not only personally rewarding but also contribute to global well-being. Therefore, it is necessary to communicate, campaign and promote a positive image of manufacturing. If talent is aware of the opportunities available in the manufacturing industry, then they will be more likely to consider and ultimately choose manufacturing as a future career path. 

Cultivating a positive perception of manufacturing can start with small steps such as making manufacturing more apparent in everyday life. Increasing representation of manufacturing in society through popular means of culture and communication such as books, television, movies and other multimedia can help to promote a more positive image. For example, if a television show features an industrial engineer then manufacturing is represented more in society and therefore helps to further cultivate a positive perception. Public and private entities can also work to create campaigns that showcase the benefits of a career in manufacturing in order to attract new talent. It is vital that manufacturing be perceived as an appealing career choice for future generations by creating high value jobs and providing a positive work environment. If young talent is drawn to manufacturing, then a greater talent pool will help lead to more progress, innovation and a stronger sector. 

Innovation should also be promoted as an element of a manufacturing career. In a time when start-up companies are perceived as trendy and appealing by young talent, manufacturing should highlight opportunities to innovate and create within industry. The start-up incubator model can be applied to manufacturing to help promote a positive perception of manufacturing. In this model, manufacturing related start-ups are incubated within larger companies and organisations to allow for creativity and mitigated risks that can lead to great innovations and breakthroughs. By showcasing manufacturing as a modern industry that has many opportunities for creativity and innovation, more talent will be attracted. 

Additionally, a positive perception of manufacturing should also be cultivated among instructors as well as new talent and students. In order to have a robust and well-educated manufacturing workforce, talented instructors are also needed to provide quality education. If both instructors and students perceive manufacturing as a valuable sector with opportunity, then industry will flourish with a greatly educated workforce and apt instructors. Cultivating a positive perception of manufacturing is key to encourage all to consider manufacturing as an appealing and dynamic career path. 

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