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SMDH – Bridging the Gap: Engaging Young and Diverse Talent in SME Manufacturing

Sorry this event has past and is no longer available. Please view the events page for the current calendar.

When and Where

  • Date: 26 February 2024
  • Start & End Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
  • Location: Online

Address: Online

Event Details

SME Manufacturers up and down the country face a common challenge currently affecting the industry on a huge scale – attracting young and diverse talent. Recent research has found that 3 in 5 young people are unlikely to consider a career in manufacturing, and with 41% of manufacturers admitting to doing absolutely nothing to address the issue, we are heading towards a considerable gulf in the workforce.

Furthermore, studies show that a diverse and inclusive workforce has the potential to increase the likelihood of better business outcomes by eight times, increase an organisations propensity for innovation and agility, and double the chances of exceeding financial targets.

Join us online for a frank and honest discussion around some of the challenges manufacturers face when attracting young and diverse talent. We’ll discuss some of the common problems and reasons why young people aren’t drawn towards working in manufacturing and our panellists will share some of their thoughts on how to bridge the gap and begin making manufacturing a career of choice for diverse talent.


Samantha Johnson, Managing Director – Pintail Candles

Samantha is a three time Managing Director and ex Head of Ecommerce. She comes from a family of retailers and now runs two consumer brands who manufacture everything themselves, right here in the UK. When she’s not at work, she’s hill walking with her two spaniel crosses and playing lacrosse with her daughter.

Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, Managing Director – Professional Polishing Services Limited and CEO & Founder – Women With Metal Limited.

Kirsty has 35 years experience in the metals sector and as the managing director of Professional Polishing Services. She is an expert in finishes for the Nuclear, Pharmaceutical and Architectural industry and is in demand to consult on projects worldwide. She is also the founder of the Women in Industry Podcast which celebrates women’s achievements in traditionally male dominated sectors to encourage more diversity and to shine a spotlight on those women who are breaking barriers and forging a path. Women With Metal held their inaugural conference in 2023 and it is the event for women and allies in the metal and manufacturing sectors to work together to enable equity in the workplace. A passionate advocate for EDI and Sustainability, Kirsty is an accomplished speaker and media contributor on these topics as well as an experienced NED.

Sorry this event has past and is no longer available. Please view the events page for the current calendar.