http://www.freeimages.com /Roger Kirby
Most of the factories I worked in after leaving school have long since been bulldozed. The communities in these factories (I worked in electronics manufacturing) employed a wide range of people with different skills and intellects. Everyone from labourers to designers and developers had a part in creating products that had a social benefit.
When I worked in the design and development of the first commercial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, we were proud to be creating something that would change the world.
In designing and manufacturing, all activities are visible and there is a tangible result. There are deadlines for completing build, completing approval testing, shipping and installation. Sometimes things go wrong but shipping dates are rarely missed. If necessary, people worked through the night to fix any problems. At the end of the week you could look back and see that you have created something
The UK became a net importer of manufactured goods in 1982 and since then the country has focused on the service sector.
Making things that people want to buy is no longer part of UK culture.
I’ve just been told that several of the roles that I recently applied for have now been put on hold or that there is a delay in decision-making from the client. The urgency of decision-making that is required in manufacturing has gone and this has a financial cost: UK productivity is the second lowest in the group of world’s richest nations
We have forgotten how to make things and forgotten how to make decisions.